Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News


21 December 2017

Ahead of this Saturday's festive fixture at AFC Wimbledon - City's last before Christmas Day - Bantams boss Stuart McCall held his usual pre-match press event at the training ground this Thursday.

Let's take a look at the main headlines from McCall's latest gathering with the assembled media...

Confidence, not complacency
City head into this Saturday's game with AFC Wimbledon having picked up the win in each of their last four away matches, including impressive victories over the top two, Wigan Athletic and Shrewsbury Town. The Bantams have actually won eight out of their eleven league matches on the road in total so far this season, but McCall says his side won't be taking anything for granted in future away fixtures. He said: "There is no way we will be getting complacent. A quick look at the league table would suggest Wimbledon haven't been in the greatest form at the moment, but we know they are better than that. Their (4-0) loss to Wigan was actually closer than the final scoreline suggested. There is good belief and momentum in the squad - but no complacency. People will look at our other results away from home this season and think we can pick another one up on Saturday. We are not naive enough to think it will be that simple. We remember that our only away loss this season came at Bury, who are now currently bottom of the league."

The start of the festive period
Saturday's game at AFC Wimbledon will kick off a busy festive period for the Bantams. City will play four games in just ten days, with fixtures also coming up against Peterborough United, Oxford United and Fleetwood Town between now and New Year's Day. McCall said: "We will be travelling Friday for the Wimbledon game, playing the match Saturday, and then in training on the Sunday (Christmas Eve). We want to give the lads Christmas Day off to spend with their families, but we can't give them two days off ahead of the Boxing Day match so we have to bring them in Christmas Eve. The Saturday (Wimbledon) and Tuesday (Peterborough, Boxing Day) games should be nothing new to the lads. It is the following Saturday (Oxford) to the Monday (Fleetwood) games - the third and the fourth matches - where we may have to look at the squad, check on the wear and tear, and think about any changes needed with the team."

Fitness checks required
Last Saturday's victory at Southend United saw a number of City's squad pick up some knocks and niggles. Nathaniel Knight-Percival, among others, is one player whose fitness will need checking over ahead of the trip to Wimbledon after the defender suffered an injury at Roots Hall. McCall said: "The squad is being a little bit stretchered. We have a couple of little doubts at the moment which will be 'touch-and-go' to be involved at Wimbledon. Nat (Knight-Percival) is improving all the time but we won't take any risks on him with such a busy period coming up. If he is pain-free and there are no problems, we will play him. He will be assessed tomorrow (Friday), and he is improving every day, but we wouldn't want to risk him for one game if it meant him potentially missing the next four or five. He is one of a group of two or three that we will need to talk about with the staff and the physio department ahead of the game. Tom Field (knee) is back in the squad for us now, though."

McCall happy at halfway
The AFC Wimbledon match will act as the official halfway point of City's Sky Bet League One campaign. The Bantams are currently five points ahead of last season's tally at the same stage of the campaign. McCall said: "We probably have more points now than we expected, especially with the turnaround of players. There have been some games, like Walsall away, when we can look back and think what might have been after being three goals up. We've also had a few home games that we've missed out on. Equally though, there have been some away matches - such as Portsmouth - where we thought we would be getting a point but then end up with all three. The squad and staff have done really well so far, but we know this is only halfway and we have kick on in this second half (of the season)."

Advertisement block