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2 things Derek Adams needs to weigh up ahead of Bradford City’s clash with Bristol Rovers



Derek Adams should make some reservations ahead of his Bradford City side’s clash with Bristol Rovers.

The Bantams have had a mediocre start to the Sky Bet League Two campaign, sitting in 12th position after 11 matches, but are just one point adrift of the play-offs.

A run of seven matches without a win damaged a fantastic start to Bradford’s campaign, but Adams has managed to steady the ship, following a stern victory over Rochdale and solid point over Newport County.

These two sides haven’t fought one another in over two years however, with last time out a close contest won in the final seconds by Jonson Clarke-Harris. In fact, it was a brace from Clarke-Harris and a goal from Ollie Clarke which saw Lewis O’Brien and Nathaniel Knight-Percival’s goals deemed void.

But with Bradford and Bristol Rovers locking horns this coming Saturday, here’s two things Adams should prepare for.

The centre-back conundrum

One notable improvement over the past few weeks has been the evident improvement in the Bradford defence, as Yann Songo’o has began to fill in at the back alongside the ever-reliable Paudie O’Connor.

But with news circling that club captain Niall Canavan is back in contention after a spell on the treatment table, what could this mean for the Bradford back line? Adams may consider a shift in formation, something he hasn’t dared to do so far this campaign, and may switch to a five at the back formation to adjust to Canavan’s needs.

However, Songo’o is well-known to be a versatile footballer, and may provide an option to be a defensive midfielder alongside Levi Sutton or Elliot Watt in Adams trusted 4-2-3-1 formation. This would allow the previous partnership of Canavan and O’Connor to return, whilst not removing the quality of Songo’o, who has been impeccable in the past few games- even denying Newport with a goal line clearance last Saturday.

There is also the possibility that Canavan may not feel ready fitness wise or comfortable starting as of yet, and he may make an appearance from the bench. Or Adams could consider not switching formation or removing Songo’o from defence, as the defensive stability has been a key component in Bradford’s recent upturn in form. You can’t fix what’s not broke.

Striking issues

Andy Cook is a proven talisman at this level, as he recently demonstrated with a perfect hat-trick against Stevenage in a 4-1 victory.

However, there’s no getting away that the striker is getting more and more frustrated with himself, despite his penalty against Rochdale, Cook is determined to prove himself and to start firing on all cylinders to help aid Bradford’s promotion ambitions.

Cook works best with the right creativity, something which Bradford don’t lack with the quality of Charles Vernam, Alex Gilliead and Callum Cooke, but it might be time for Adams to take a risk on Abo Eisa and give the former Scunthorpe United winger a chance.

Eisa featured heavily in pre-season but has been absent through injury, making his return on Saturday but failing to appear off of the bench. The winger showed promise in friendlies against higher-league oppositions such as Doncaster Rovers and Blackburn Rovers, but it might be time for the Sudanese player to bring that type of form into the league.

Have Bradford City had a higher or lower average attendance compared to these 23 sides this season?

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1) Have Bradford had a higher or lower average attendance than Swindon?

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 2 things Derek Adams needs to weigh up ahead of Bradford City’s clash with Bristol Rovers

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