Simon Weaver and his players will look to shake off the disappointment of the injury time defeat to Gillingham a week ago when we make the far shorter journey this Saturday to take on Bradford City in our second Yorkshire Derby of the season.
The strong defensive showing will instill confidence in the side and a good recent record at Valley Parade will see Simon Weaver’s side looking to come away with a positive result.
The Bantams finished last season in sixth position, but exited the playoffs at the first hurdle after a defeat over two legs to eventual winners Carlisle United.
They recruited heavily again over the summer, including bringing in Alex Pattison as well as one-time Town loanee Lewis Richards, in addition to the likes of Ash Taylor and Clarke Odour. Loanees Chisom Afoka, Rayhaan Tulloch and Jonathan Tomkinson all arrived at the club following the start of the season.
They have taken nine points from seven games and they head into Saturday’s clash in sixteenth position.
In three games at home this season though they remain unbeaten with two wins and a draw, including the late equaliser that saw them snatch a 1-1 draw last week against Grimsby.
Bradford did the double over Town last season, coming away with a 2-1 win at The Envirovent Stadium thanks to an Andy Cook penalty and a winner from Tyreik Wright after Jaheim Headley had levelled, before nicking a 1-0 win at home over the festive season thanks to a first minute strike from that man Wright.
Town did progress though in the FA Cup thanks to Matty Daly’s ninth-minute effort.
Prior to that Town had won all four contests between the two sides including a memorable 3-1 win at Valley Parade in 2021/22 with goals from Warren Burrell, Lewis Page and Jack Diamond.
The man in charge
This is Mark Hughes’s second full season in charge at the club having taken over at the tail end of the 2021/22 season.
It was the first time that Hughes had managed outside of the Premier League after previous spells with Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR, Southampton and Stoke as well as managing the Welsh national side.
The Welshman had a stellar playing career prior to management, playing for Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Everton and Southampton.
Ones to watch
Richard Smallwood should feature in the heart of the midfield with Alex Gillead pushing for a start after scoring off the bench a week ago.
Former Barrow man Matthew Platt anchors the defence alongside Sam Stubbs, son of former Everton defender Alan, in a back three in front of Harry Lewis.
Bradford have spent much of their recent history in the top two divisions of English football, spending two seasons in the Premier League under Paul Jewell at the turn of the century, the first of which saw them pull off ‘The Great Escape’ as the club survived relegation on the final day by defeating Liverpool at Valley Parade.
However, consecutive relegations saw them tumble through the divisions in the mid-2000’s and although they made a return to League One, they were relegated back to the bottom division following the 2018/19 season.
Stephen Dooley, Dean Cornelius and Josh March remain on the sidelines through injury. Club captain Josh Falkingham was forced off in the first-half of last weekend's defeat but could return to action on Saturday.
Otherwise, Simon Weaver has a full complement to select from.