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McCALL'S PRE-MATCH PLYMOUTH FA CUP PRESSER | WHAT WE'VE LEARNED

1 December 2017

Bantams boss Stuart McCall held his usual pre-match press event this Thursday ahead of City's Emirates FA Cup second round tie with Plymouth Argyle at the Northern Commercials Stadium.

Let's take a look at the main headlines from McCall's meeting with the assembled press...

The importance of Saturday
McCall says Saturday's tie is a significant one for the club for a number of reasons. He said: "We want to get back to winning ways at home. We have been struggling a little bit in terms of results, but not performances. We also want a positive display for momentum and to help us secure a place in the third round. There is always a great buzz and excitement when the third round draw comes around, and it would be fantastic to be involved in that. We want to go as far as we can in this competition."

We meet again
This Saturday's tie will be City's second meeting with Plymouth on home soil in just three weeks after the Pilgrims' 1-0 victory in Sky Bet League One last month. McCall said: "We are up against a side who showed a few weeks ago that they are hard to play against. They defended resolutely and, in fairness, scored a well-worked goal. If we can play like we did on that day though, but perhaps be a little bit more clinical when the chances come around, then hopefully we can make the third round. They may come here on Saturday with some confidence after getting the result last time. If we create the same amount of chances on Saturday as we did in the league game though, you'd be quietly confident that we can put a few of them away." 

Crowd support needed
With the Bantams playing at the Northern Commercials Stadium again in the FA Cup following the first round win over Chesterfield, McCall is hoping that City's supporters can make home advantage count come this weekend. He said: "That support will be key. We need those in the stadium on Saturday to bring their voices to really make a tremendous atmosphere for the lads. We'll need the supporters to get behind the players from the first minute to the last, as they always do. The importance of the crowd and the noise they make is going to be huge. We will be going for it from the very first whistle."

Midweek work-out in the reserves for squad members
In the build-up to Saturday's tie, a number of City's first team squad were given a run-out in Tuesday's Central League reserve fixture with Walsall. McCall said: "Lukas (Raeder), Thommo (Adam Thompson) and Jacob Hanson at the back featured in the game. The two Dannys, Devine and Pybus, played in the middle and we had a front four of Jordan Gibson, Dominic Poleon, Shay McCartan and Omari Patrick. Jordan showed some good moments in the game, Shay worked tirelessly up front, Dom chipped in with a goal and Omari scored two well-taken goals. They all needed a game so it was a useful exercise from them all."

Field and Dieng unavailable
McCall confirmed that loanee left back Tom Field unfortunately suffered a knee injury in the first half of the Walsall reserve fixture. McCall also revealed that Timothee Dieng is still sidelined with a hamstring problem. McCall said: "We cannot actually play Tom in the FA Cup - we don't have permission to do so - but he would be ruled out at the weekend anyway. We are just monitoring his knee injury to see how it settles down in the next 48 hours or so. Tim Dieng is back out running at about three-quarter pace. Fingers crossed, he can up that work-load next week and join in with the rest of the squad at some point. We still have Adam Chicksen, Alex Jones and Colin Doyle out, but that gives other members of the squad the opportunity to possibly stake a claim either in the starting XI or off the bench."


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