Bradford City manager Gary Bowyer has warned defender Ben Richards-Everton he may have to be patient for his recall to the Bantams starting XI, following his return from suspension.
Richards-Everton arrived at Valley Parade on a free transfer from Accrington over the summer and has made nine appearances so far this season.
The former Tamworth defender has featured in ten of Bradford’s 13 league games but was sent off during the 3-1 home win against Carlisle United on 21st September.
Bowyer suggested that he has a selection headache on his hands and told the Bradford Telegraph & Argus on Tuesday that Ben Richards-Everton may not walk straight back into the starting XI, despite playing every minute of the season until his suspension.
In his absence Paudie and Anthony O’Connor have formed a strong partnership and his boss has confirmed that Richards-Everton isn’t guaranteed to start in the upcoming fixture against Crawley Town.
“The two of them did ever so well during Ben’s suspension, they made some great blocks against Morecambe,” Bowyer told the press on Tuesday.
Bradford picked up seven points from a possible nine whilst Richards-Everton was out and Bowyer, speaking of his squad’s strength in depth, told the Telegraph & Argus that if anything it ‘shows the quality we have, that we could call upon those two whilst Ben was out’. Bowyer continued to say: “We are going into a period where we will be playing Saturday, Tuesday again so be able to call on people who have minutes is brilliant for us.”
When asked if Richards-Everton would have to challenge for his place, Bowyer acknowledged that there is competition amongst his squad and that ‘once a player has a shirt, it is theirs to keep’, hinting that nobody has an automatic place in his team and players must be up for the fight to win their places back.
Gary Bowyer is right to highlight Bradford’s strength in depth, which will be pivotal across the season. It is a bold but sensible move by Bowyer to allow the two O’Connor’s to carry on in the starting XI due to their impressive performances.
If anything, this will serve as motivation for Richards-Everton to win back the shirt, and re-establish himself at the heart of the Bantams defensive line.