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HOPKIN EXPECTING 'INTENSE' SOUTHEND CLASH

18 January 2019

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David Hopkin is expecting a high-intensity clash when his Bantams take on Southend United tomorrow at the Northern Commercials Stadium.

City can close the gap on their 12th-placed visitors to just five points with a victory, as Hopkin’s men hope to escape the drop-zone in the process.

Hopkin insists Chris Powell’s Southend will offer a “tough test” but the Bantams boss believes home advantage could be key.

The City manager said: “I know Chris well and we all know this is going to be a difficult game.

“Every game in this division poses different problems and you have to adapt to each one. Southend are no different.

“We are back at home this week, which is good. We have to make sure we get our intensity levels right and repeat the performances from the back end of last year.

“The supporters have really got behind us in the last four or five home games and, hopefully, it continues tomorrow.

“The players enjoy playing in front of the home fans, so we have to ensure we are always competitive at Valley Parade.”

Adam Chicksen, suspended after being red carded in last week’s defeat at Barnsley, misses out as he serves the first of a two-match ban.

Luca Colville could return following a knee problem, though Kelvin Mellor and Sean Scannell will sit out the January 19 contest (kick-off 3.00pm).

New-signing Jermaine Anderson is available for selection, as is Hope Akpan - who returned to action last weekend.

Hopkin added: “Almost everyone is fit and training well, which is good for us ahead of this game.

“We have to make sure we keep the squad as fit and as fresh as possible.

“It was important Hope got some minutes against Barnsley, last week, and now he is back to full fitness.

“He has looked sharp all week in training and on the advice of our medical staff, we have monitored him and feel he is able to return.”


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