Interview with a Bradford fan Friday, 19th Oct 2018 10:00 by Col
Dale head to Valley Parade this weekend so we've spoken with a Bradford supporter to find out what they're up to.
1 Who are you and how long have you supported Bradford? I’m Tom Love, 21, been a Bradford City fan ever since I can remember.
2 Ok straight to it, why has it all gone wrong at Bradford? Quality of the squad has reduced year on year, it seems like it’s for financial reasons. Players such as Billy Clarke, James Meredith and Rory McCardle all left and weren’t replaced suitably. Since Stuart McCall left it’s all gone downhill. The board sacked him after a poor January last season and we brought in Simon Grayson which didn’t work. Football under him was very dull however he can’t do much with the players who were at his disposal. We waited 6 weeks in summer before appointed our youth team coach Michael Collins as head coach. He has no prior experience in the role and was found wanting, I personally feel sorry for him, you can’t turn down that opportunity however he was hung out to dry. We now have David Hopkin in charge and not much has changed. It’s all come down to poor decision making at hierarchal level.
3 Are you confident that you can turn it around? It all depends whether we invest in January. The majority of the players just aren’t good enough. It also depends on a change in style, we’ve been bottom 4 of performance data metrics for a long time now, struggling to create a high volume of good chances has been a problem. All in all it’s hard to be confident of a turnaround at the minute.
4 Whats the thought on the latest new manager David Hopkin? Hopkin doesn’t have a great deal of experience but did well at Livingston on a small budget. The owners will have brought him in because of his strong record of developing young players and ability to work with little or no money. We did look to have improved defensively under him but individual errors have seen that regress. I’m happy to reserve judgement on him till after the January window.
5 Who will be your biggest threats in Saturday’s game? Jack Payne is our most creative player. He’s good in and around the box and has chipped in with a fair few goals so far including in our two wins against Shrewsbury and Burton. Keep him quiet and you should have a good chance, not many others stand out.
6 Any thoughts on Dale? I’ve always had a soft spot for Dale. It’s such a well run club given the resources available and it was good to see them do well in the cup last season. Keith Hill just seems the perfect fit for the club and your style of play is good to watch. All the best this season.
7 We’ve recently appointed James Mason. He seems to get many plaudits from Bradford supporters. What did he bring to your club? James Mason was brilliant for us. It helped that he is a Bradford fan and he understands how important the relationship between the fans and the club is. His marketing decisions were sound and was good at getting sponsors in. His departure could be another reason we are struggling this season as we haven’t really replaced him. You’ve got a good one there and I can see why he chose to move to Dale.
8 What’s your favourite and worst moments from matches between Dale and Bradford? We beat you at Valley Parade last season over the Christmas period and it was a great game ending 4-3 to ya, that was probably the best. We tend to have a good historic record against you but I can remember you coming to West Yorkshire and winning 4-2 a few years ago, the lad Gornell scored a few and he was always a menace against us.
9 All time favourite Bradford City XI I haven’t been around long enough to witness the promotion side of 1998 so from personal memory I’d go with a 4-3-3 formation: Jordan Pickford, Stephen Darby, Rory McArdle, Andrew Davies, James Meredith, Gary Jones (c), Josh Cullen, Stuart McCall, Peter Thorne, Nahki Wells, Dean Windass.
10 Predictions for the game? Hopefully we can get a win but I can see it ending all square. 1-1.