It’ll be another game in strange surroundings for Bradford City this Tuesday night as they travel to Charlton Athletic.
The Addicks sit 14th in the League One table but have been in turmoil off the pitch yet again this season as fans continue to protest against their owners. On the pitch, the team come into the game with four points under their belt from their last two games.
A huge home win against highflyers Scunthorpe last Tuesday night was followed up by a point against Walsall at the Valley on Saturday. These last two results have ended a run of nine games without a win and Karl Robinson will be hopeful of snatching something again tomorrow night.
As for the away side, it’s another trip to a club surrounded by huge off-field issues. Saturday’s 2-0 win away at Coventry City means it’s now 11 points in five games for Stuart McCall’s men as they attempt to solidify their place in the play-offs and make a last minute push for the automatic promotion places. The Bantams are now up to fourth in the league, just two points off second place, following Scunthorpe’s 3-2 loss against Gillingham on Saturday, a nine-minute trio of penalties dispatching the Iron.
The home side will be without several key names for Tuesday night’s clash. Chris Solly and Jordan Botaka will both miss the game with calf injuries. Jason Pearce will also not be involved even though he managed 60 minutes in an Under-23 game on Sunday. Meanwhile at the other end of the pitch, Josh Magennis is still doubtful as he nurses a hamstring injury and Jake Forster-Caskey will play no part due to an ankle injury.
Stuart McCall will himself be without some key names at his disposal. Alex Jones is 50/50 for the clash after he sustained a dead leg at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday. Jones started the game as a substitute, coming on to replace the injured Alex Gilliead who is waiting to find out the extent of his hamstring injury. Midfielder Nicky Law remains sidelined with the same knee problem that has kept him out of the Bantams’ last two games. The good news for McCall is that defender Stephen Darby will be back in contention after returning to the squad as an unused substitute on Saturday, following an arm injury.
Speaking to Kent Live, Karl Robinson has confirmed that he is already making pre-season plans to make sure his team are fit and ready for next season. However, this isn’t to say that the manager hasn’t given appropriate thought to Tuesday’s clash.
He said “The players haven’t had a proper pre-season with all the things that have gone on so we are looking forward to what we are doing in the summer.
“I’m already planning. I’ve already talked about the number of days we are going to be training. I don’t think these players trained enough because there were so many comings and goings last summer.
“Every game requires 100% detail, 100% attention. You are changing the shape, looking at formations, statistics, the weaknesses of the opposition and we will have a game plan for Tuesday.”
As for McCall, he was unsurprisingly pleased with his side’s win at Coventry on Saturday but attention will no doubt have turned to tomorrow night’s game following the final whistle on Saturday.
Following the Bantams’ most recent win, he told Simon Parker of the Telegraph & Argus “It was a scrappy game but we said at half-time that it would be a bit of quality that wins it for us. We showed that in the second half with both goals.
“It was a scrappy game but we said at half-time that it would be a bit of quality that wins it for us. We showed that in the second half with both goals.”
The sides last met early in December when they played out an entertaining 0-0 draw at Valley Parade. That afternoon was Robinson’s first game in charge of the Addicks.
Charlton proved to be tough opposition for the Bantams back in December and will have their tails up following their last two results. Bradford, on the other hand, sit firmly in the play-offs for a reason and boast just five losses all season. They’ve proved to be an incredibly tough side to break down week in week out. Both sides could well cancel each other out and a 1-1 draw could be a fairly likely outcome.