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McCALL EXPECTING A CHALLENGE AT CHELTENHAM

16 January 2017

Bantams boss Stuart McCall is expecting a challenging encounter when City travel to Cheltenham Town this Tuesday for their Checkatrade Trophy round three tie with the Robins.

McCall's men face Sky Bet League Two side Cheltenham on Tuesday evening looking to secure an away quarter-final tie at Oxford United for the following week.

Opponents Cheltenham currently find themselves just one point and one place above the League Two drop-zone, although they have been boosted by two recent home successes - the 6-1 victory over Leicester City U21s in the previous round and a 3-0 win against fellow strugglers Accrington Stanley on Saturday.

Recent additions Alex Jones and Alex Gilliead are both cup-tied for the trip to the LCI Rail Stadium but City are hopeful Billy Clarke will make a welcome return from injury during the game.

The Irishman has been sidelined for the past two months due to a troublesome calf problem picked up back in November.

McCall said: "It is another long journey for us and another tough encounter.

"Kenny (Black) was at their game in the previous round and they picked up an impressive victory (6-1 win over Leicester City U21s).

"Conditions might be tricky, the pitch looked fairly sand-based and a bit heavy from what we've seen. They've also had another game on it on Saturday.

"It might not be best suited for free-flowing football but we know that might increasingly be the case for a lot of pitches as the season wears on.

"It is a game we have to go and look to try and win for a number of reasons.

"We want to keep in a competition that ultimately could take us to Wembley, plus we also want to get back to winning ways after Saturday's defeat at Shrewsbury.

"From a financial point of view as well, this competition important to the club.

"It is a challenging tie waiting in the quarter-finals for the winners - away to a League One side (Oxford) - but we can only focus on that if and when we get past Cheltenham."


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