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McCALL | WE COULDN'T HAVE DONE MUCH MORE

4 February 2017

Bantams boss Stuart McCall felt his side couldn't have done much more in their pursuit of victory after City were held to a draw at home to Gillingham this Saturday.

New striker Charlie Wyke struck on his debut for the Bantams but the visiting Gills were still able to claim a share of the spoils following a 2-2 draw in City's #BantamsFamily fixture.

Wyke's first goal for the club came after fifteen minutes - barely sixty seconds after Gillingham's opener through Josh Wright. Tony McMahon then followed up from a saved Billy Clarke free-kick later in the half to fire City into the half time lead.

Gills defender Deji Oshilaja netted for the visitors four minutes into the second period, however, to deny City all three points despite a number of chances for McCall's men afterwards. 

McCall said: "We are obviously disappointed not to win today (Saturday) but I couldn't ask anymore from the players.

"We showed the lads one of their (Gillingham's) goals from their recent draw at United so it was disappointing to concede the first goal in a similar fashion from a long throw-in into the box.

"We've bounced back really well from that blow though, showing fantastic ability and desire to get back in the game almost straightaway.

"Marshy's delivery is spot-on and Charlie's header is perfect. The free-kick goal with Tony (McMahon) then gets us 2-1 up going into the break.

"We've not dealt with the ball in our box for their second goal but there is still plenty of time in the game at that point to get ourselves a winner.

"We've pushed and we've pushed for that goal. We've put crosses in, had shots blocked and carried a threat from set-pieces, but you have to give Gillingham credit as well.

"They sat in, ran the clock down and defended when they had to do. They have got their blocks in and kicked one off the line. They did what they needed to do to ensure they didn't get beat.

"We couldn't really have done too much more because we've had a number of chances to score after their equaliser.

"In the end, we've finished with virtually four strikers on the pitch with Jordy (Hiwula), Billy (Clarke), Charlie (Wyke) and Marshy up there.

"It wasn't to be this afternoon but there is no reason to be down. We have a group that are fully behind each other and who have yet again today given everything they could to try and get the win.

"If we keep playing in this manner, it can only give us confidence and belief going into the rest of the season.

"We merited more than we got but we perhaps didn't get that luck we needed either, that bounce of the ball our way or that little bit of lady luck."

McCall was delighted to see Wyke get off the mark for the Bantams at the first attempt following his deadline day move.

Making his first City start, Wyke grabbed his nineteenth goal of the season in all competitions when he headed home from Mark Marshall's cross.

The Bantams' new number nine also saw an effort kicked clear right in front of the goal-line in the second period in a man-of-the-match performance from the 24 year-old forward.

Fellow January recruit Alex Jones missed the game, however, with the club receiving a further update on Friday about his hip problem.


McCall said: "It was fantastic to see him get off the mark but Charlie's overall play was great as well.

"Speaking to their management team after the game, they said how much of a handful they thought he was.

"We know we can get him good service, and Charlie has shown he can thrive when that happens.

"It is a good start for him and something to build on now.

"Disappointing news with Alex. He went for a scan yesterday (Friday) just to try and get to the bottom of his hip problem and unfortunately it has shown a slight tear in his cartilage

"Normally if you have slight tear in the cartilage in your knee, you have an operation and you are out for 3-4 weeks. Whether this issue can be solved with rest alone, we are not sure yet.

"If it does need an operation though, hopefully it won't keep him out for too long.

"We should know more at the start of next week."

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