Ahead of City's Sky Bet League One fixture with Wigan Athletic, Bantams boss Stuart McCall gave his thoughts this Thursday to the assembled media at the club's usual pre-match press event.
Following the conclusion of McCall's look-ahead to the Bantams' trip to the DW Stadium this weekend, here's some of the main headlines...
McMahon backed to bounce back
Bantams boss Stuart McCall is confident Tony McMahon will not be affected by the disappointment of last Saturday's saved penalty against Plymouth Argyle. McCall said: "Tony was clearly frustrated after the game but he is an experienced and honest professional. He is confident enough to feel that he is always going to score from a penalty if he hits it right. Any player in the world can have a penalty saved, however, if the 'keeper guesses the right way."
After a recent period of good form from Paul Taylor, McCall was quick to sing the praises of the Liverpudlian. City's number 10 has arguably been the Bantams' brightest spark in attacking areas in the last few matches, including last Saturday's game against Plymouth when he hit the bar from distance. McCall: "Paul is showing the sort of form now myself and Kenny (Black) knew last summer he was capable of. I think ever since he came off the bench and scored his goal at MK Dons, his confidence has been lifted. You can see that in the way he is training at the moment. He is quick and can shoot with both his left and right foot, and he is certainly a threat for us the way he is playing at the moment. The task for him now is to keep it up and keep the level of performances high."
McCall challenging City to compete with title favourites
Following an encouraging first three months of the season, including a particularly strong start on home soil, Wigan are currently the bookmakers' favourites to lift the League One title come May. McCall is agreement with the bookies' current thoughts on the Latics, but he believes his side can still enjoy a profitable afternoon at the DW Stadium. He said: "I feel Wigan have the strongest squad in the division at the moment in terms of depth, quality and experience. I would expect them to go back up as champions this season. Having said that, I also expect us to go there and put in a really strong performance. Our away form is good so far this season for a reason. We probably won't have the same amount of the ball as we did last weekend (vs Plymouth) but, equally, you wouldn't expect Wigan to sit in and defend. Wigan are very strong at home but we have belief in our players that they can win anywhere in this division if they are on the top of their game."
Robinson's progress pleases McCall
McCall says he was encouraged by the efforts of young leftie Tyrell Robinson during his second half showing against Plymouth. The former Arsenal player, who can play either as a left winger or left back, came on at half time last Saturday and caught the eye of many with some lung-bursting runs and crosses from the flank. McCall said: "We brought him on as a left back at half time but he was almost playing as a winger with Plymouth looking to sit back and hang on. We have a few options in terms of the left back slot for Saturday but we know this weekend's game will certainly be different to the Plymouth match. We have been working on Tyrell's defensive qualities but he is still most comfortable as a wide-player at the moment. He has the pace, determination and aggression to be a defender if that is the way he wants to go though."
Dieng still ruled out
McCall has confirmed that Timothee Dieng will once again miss out at Wigan at the weekend. The Frenchman sat out the loss to Plymouth after tweaking his hamstring in the recent Checkatrade Trophy group game with Rotherham United. McCall revealed: "Tim will miss out again this weekend. He been doing some jogging but he still has a slight bit of discomfort. It is nothing major, however, and the hope is to have him back involved with us at some stage next week."
Subscribers to iFollow Bantams can see Stuart McCall's full pre-match interview, along with chats with midfielders Jake Reeves and Nicky Law, by clicking HERE.
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