Inside the Bantams

BRADFORD City commute to Home Park this Saturday in the hope that they can bag their first away win since the beginning of October under the supervision of ex-Livingston manager David Hopkin.

Last season, the Bantams finished 11th in Sky Bet League One with a final total of 18 wins, 9 draws and 19 losses. 

Despite ending in a respectable position in the table, Bradford revealed that Simon Grayson was leaving and under 18s coach Michael Collins was to be the new boss at the start of the current campaign. His reign in the Valley Parade hotseat lasted just 6 matches (77 days).

After guiding Livingston to the top flight in Scotland by virtue of back-to-back promotions after his appointment in 2015, David Hopkin signalled his intent to seek new challenges elsewhere.

In September he was appointed Bradford's fourth permanent manager of 2018.

Hopkin- who in fact played for the Bantams in the 2000/01 season – started his career at his local team, Greenock Morton, before spells at Chelsea, Leeds and Crystal Palace. He retired in 2003.

So far this season, Bradford have racked up a total of four wins, two draws and 14 losses, which puts them bottom of League One with 14 points.

Bradford have one win and one draw in their last nine league matches, with the three points coming from a 2-0 home win over Oxford United. In their ten previous away matches, they have won only at Wimbledon and Shrewsbury Town, both 1-0, and their only other point came in a 1-1 draw at Peterborough United.

In their other seven away matches, they have conceded more than one goal on each occasion, including suffering 4-0 defeats at Luton, in their last league game, and Gillingham. Their eight points out of 42 under new manager Hopkin included both 4-0s, coming in two out of their last three league games, either side of the Peterborough draw; away from home, he has taken four points from 21.

They have the division’s second-worst attack, with 15 goals from 20 games, ahead of only Wimbledon, and the fourth-worst defence – 36 goals conceded, one more than Argyle.

In terms of form, Bradford have shown signs of symmetry in their performances: winning two at home and two away; drawing one both home and away; and losing seven both home and away.

Argyle have been more promising at home than away recently, although results have not always proved that. Their last home win came against Joey Barton's Fleetwood Town, when Freddie Ladapo took his account to double figures for the season in a 2-1 win.

Ex-Pilgrim Anthony O’Connor has found himself in Bradford’s line-up on a frequent basis recently, captaining the side, with Kelvin Mellor also making appearances for the Bantams after leaving Argyle in 2016.

Bradford’s top goal scorer for the season so far is attacking midfielder, Jack Payne. He has scored a total of five goals, exactly one third of their overall total so far; he notched the second goal in their most recent home game against Oxford United which they won 2-0.

Megan Stone

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