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BOWYER PLEASED WITH ‘VITAL MINUTES’

25 September 2019

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Gary Bowyer was happy to get important minutes into members of his first-team squad in a Leasing.com Trophy defeat to Manchester City Under-21s.

A youthful, much-changed side were handed match time as City fell to a 2-1 home defeat in their second Northern Group F outing.

Bowyer was adamant the most important aspect of the evening was getting some of his players back out on the pitch.

He said: "Overall, we were disappointed with the result. It was another game of football and we want to be successful in any match we play.

"There were a lot of positives for us to take, though. We played some good football against a very talented side, with some great players.

"The most important thing, for us, was getting minutes into the legs of some of our boys.

"The likes of Zeli Ismail, Shay McCartan, Tyler French, Remi Oteh and Hope Akpan all got valuable game time, which we were pleased with.

"We were looking for players to come in and stake their claim for starting places and there are definitely lads who have taken their opportunities."

As well as fielding senior professionals, the Bantams boss also handed debuts to George Sykes-Kenworthy and under-18s Connor Morris and Jorge Sikora.

Bowyer has been impressed with the progress his youngsters are making and has identified the importance of showing faith in academy prospects.

The City chief added: "It was a great experience for some of our young lads to play for the club at this level.

"It is a very important stage in their development, playing alongside professionals who are used to operating at a very established level.

"We have a very good academy with some promising players coming through.

"There is a great relationship with the academy coaches - who do a fantastic job - and the healthy link we have with the academy is really important.

"Hopefully, Reece, Jorge and Connor will have had a taste for first-team football and it will give them more determination to work even harder."

Bowyer’s men return to Sky Bet League Two action on Saturday, with over 1,300 City fans expected to travel to Scunthorpe United.


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