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HOPKIN PRAISES 'MENTAL STRENGTH'

27 January 2019

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David Hopkin praised “great mental strength” after the Bantams came from behind to earn a point at Burton.

Hope Akpan’s 68th-minute strike cancelled out Lucas Akins’ opener, moving the Bantams to within three points of safety in Sky Bet League One.

Hopkin hailed his side’s second-half resolve ahead of Tuesday’s crunch clash with Shrewsbury.

“It was a massive point to take from the game,” said the City manager.

“We approached the first half with a specific plan, which was working as we carved open two or three great opportunities.

“We switched off just before half-time, though, and conceded a poor goal. I was disappointed as it could have easily been avoided.

“But I challenged the players to come back from that. We haven’t been able to do so this season when going behind but we did yesterday, so full credit to the players.

“We had to come out of the blocks and make sure we scored the next goal.

“We showed great mental strength and deserved, at least, a point against a very good team.”

Man of the match Hope Akpan, returning to face his former club, grabbed his first goal in a City shirt.

Calum Woods made his Bantams debut - after signing from Preston North End in midweek - while Connor Wood started on the left edge.

Hopkin was pleased with the contributions all three players brought to the game.

He said: “Hope scored a fantastic goal and we could have maybe grabbed a few more as we opened up some good chances.

“He has come back to his former club and performed at a very high level, which shows what he can do when he is fully fit.

“The squad is getting back to a stage where we have good fitness and it gets the best out of people, as we saw with Hope yesterday.

“Calum slotted in for his debut and was excellent for us and Connor was able to go further forward, giving us strength out wide.

“If we had shown a bit more quality in the final third, we could have taken all three points from the game.

“We have a big game against Shrewsbury coming up on Tuesday evening and, hopefully, the fans see from this performance we will be fighting all the way.”


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