Bradford City manager Gary Bowyer has warned defender Ben Richards-Everton that he may not walk straight back into the starting XI, despite now being available again after suspension.
Richards-Everton had played every minute of the Bantams league campaign following to his summer arrival, before being sent-off in the final minutes of his side’s 3-1 win over Carlisle United on the 21st September.
That dismissal has seen Richards-Everton miss Bradford’s last three games, and it seems that while he is available to feature against Crawley on Saturday, there is no guarantee he will do so.
With Bradford under pressure to win an immediate promotion back to League One this season, Bowyer will have to make the right call here, in order to avoid putting those hopes of promotion under any sort of risk in any way.
Here, we take a look at two things Bowyer will have to consider when deciding whether or not to recall Richards-Everton.
How have Bradford fared without him?
Had Bradford found themselves struggling for points without Richards-Everton, it may have been a no-brainer to bring the defender back into the side.
That however, has not been the case, with Bradford picking up seven points from a possible nine in his absence, with the two O’Connor’s, Paudie and Anthony, forming an effective partnership in the centre of the Bantams defence.
Bowyer himself has admitted to being impressed by the pair, so it would seem harsh to drop one of them to make room for Richards-Everton, when neither have done anything wrong particularly.
Should Gary Bowyer recall Ben Richards-Everton for Bradford on Saturday?
Is there a risk Richards-Everton could do it again?
One thing Bowyer will not want to happen, is for Richards-Everton to get sent off and subsequently suspended again.
If this was to become a repeat occurrence, then that is something that would inevitably become an issue for the Bantams, not only in terms of having to play with ten men, but also the reduction in options the suspensions would leave them with.
In fairness to Richards-Everton however, it does not appear as though he is the type of player to regularly find himself in this situation.
Funnily enough, that dismissal for Bradford against Carlisle was his first in exactly six years, since he was sent-off for Tamworth in a National League match with Gateshead on the 21st September 2013.
It seems therefore that the chances of him earning an early bath again any time soon are unlikely, so Bowyer may be comfortable chalking this down as one-off, and making sure he doesn’t play him on the 21st September ever again.