Paudie O’Connor returned to Bradford City from Leeds United on a permanent deal this summer, following his successful loan spell at Valley Parade last term.
The 22-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan with the Bantams and enjoyed an impressive run in the team towards the end of the campaign, although he could not help save the club from relegation from League One.
O’Connor returned to Valley Parade on a permanent deal this summer and after struggling for game time in the first few weeks of the season, he’s been able to establish himself as a key player for the team, making eight appearances in all competitions.
In the latest FLW Spotlight, we assess O’Connor’s start to the season for Bradford, by taking a closer look at some of his stats from the campaign so far…
After missing the first few games of the season, O’Connor has established himself as an important player for Bradford. He’s made a total of eight appearances in all competitions, playing a total of 768 minutes.
He’s been solid at the back, but he’s also been very impressive going forward and has scored three goals – one more than he scored in the whole of last season. This is one aspect of his game that you imagine he’ll be very pleased with.
His passing stats so far this season are also rather impressive. O’Connor has made 314 passes, with a pass accuracy of 78.7%, which shows that he’s rarely given the ball away.
O’Connor has been very solid at the back for Bradford this season too and has won 59.9% of the 52 defensive duels that he’s been involved in.
The centre-back has also been pretty good in the air and has won 53% of his 100 aerial duels. He’s a big presence on the pitch and is generally pretty good at dealing with balls into the box.
His height also makes him a big threat from set-pieces too, which he showed when he scored his first goal for the club with a powerful header against Bolton Wanderers.
O’Connor hasn’t just been good in the air though, his all-round defensive contribution has been very impressive. He has also made 34 interceptions, 24 clearances, blocked six shots and won three of his four attempted sliding tackles.
He certainly isn’t afraid to get stuck in on the pitch and his defensive contribution for the Bantams has been key. It also shows how much he’s improved from last season.
He’s given away 15 fouls, which is not bad considering how many challenges he’s been involved in. He’s been booked three times though, which is quite a lot considering he’s only played eight matches – although it reflects his committed defensive style.
After struggling for game time in the first few weeks of the season, O’Connor has been excellent for Bradford. He’s an aggressive centre-back and he certainly ins’t afraid to get stuck in on the pitch. He’s been very solid at the back, and his height and physical stature makes him a threat in both boxes.
His stats show that he’s improved massively from last season and it’s perhaps not surprising that he was nominated for the player of the month award for League Two.
O’Connor should be very pleased with his start to the season and it’s looking like he could have a very important role to play in the Bantams’ promotion push this term.