Bristol Rovers v Bradford City Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers welcome Bradford City this weekend hoping to extend their unbeaten run.

Rovers are unbeaten in four and have only lost two of their last eight and Bradford have lost four of their last six in all competitions but remain fifth in the League One table.

Both sides have been able to strengthen this January transfer window, Bradford signing Callum Guy on loan from Derby and Bristol Rovers signing Bernard Mensah from Aldershot but manager Darrell Clarke has spoken of the difficulties of attracting League One players due to wage demands.

“I mean, the sums of money… I said it earlier in the season,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“There are four or five or six thousands pounds a week being spent on League One players now, it’s a lot of money for the standard of players you can get.

“We’ll never be in that ballpark.

“Recruitment is so key, certainly recruitment when you’re trying to overachieve and push yourself into the top half of the table.

“We’ve got to manage recruitment carefully and make sure players are coming for the right reason, because previously we certainly had some players at the club not for the right reasons.

“It doesn’t do the club any good in the long haul, that’s why we’ll be patient and while I’m still trying to get those permanent signings and try to come away from loans if possible.”

Bernard Mensah could make his first appearance in a Rovers shirt this weekend but Ryan Broom will be unavailable after leaving the club for Eastleigh on loan.

Bradford go into the game having hit a rough patch in form after a very good first half of the season.

The Bantams are fifth in the table but have hit a bit of a stumbling block recently and manager Stuart McCall has called on his leaders in the squad to get them back on track.

“This is when you need leadership. I need to get amongst the players and lift them up again and we need to be united throughout the club,” McCall told the Telegraph and Argus.

“The players need to help each other, we as a staff need to help the players.

“I take responsibility with the team I put out and the decisions that we make. I’ll never shy away from that.

“I’m not personally going to let this all crumble now. I’m going to lead from the front.”

Bradford striker Charlie Wyke, who scored a hat-trick in the reverse fixture, will be assessed ahead the trip down south to see if he has any chance of featuring in the match-day squad.

Tony McMahon and Adam Thompson are missing through injury, although Adam Chicksen has a chance of travelling after making his return from injury in the reserves in midweek.


This is the 26th meeting between the two sides, Rovers have won 13, Bradford have won seven and there have been five draws.

Rovers haven’t beaten Bradford in their last five meetings.

The last meeting between the two sides ended in a 3-1 Bradford win.

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