Bradford City manager Gary Bowyer has paid tribute to midfielder Jake Reeves, after the midfielder ended his long wait for a return to action during his side’s EFL Trophy match with Rochdale on Tuesday night.
Reeves – who previously hadn’t made an appearance since January 2018 for the Bantams due to injury – was handed the captain’s armband as he returned to the starting lineup against ‘Dale, with the 26-year-old’s setting up Tyler French for the opener.
Goals from Rekeil Pyke and Fabio Tavares would ultimately seal a 2-1 win for Rochdale, eliminating Bradford from the competition at the group stage, but that didn’t dampen Bowyer’s spirits with regards to Reeves’ return.
Speaking to Bradford’s official website about the midfielder following the game, Bowyer said: “The main thing was the magnificent performance of Jake Reeves.
“You would not believe he has been out for as long as he has, based on that performance. I cannot speak highly enough of the lad and had no hesitation in giving him the captain’s armband.
“He is a great person to have around the place with how he goes about his business and really is captain material.”
Will Bradford win promotion this season?
Discussing the process with regards to reintegrating the midfielder into the side on a more regular basis, the Bradford boss continued: “We will pick his recovery up – step by step – after this game and see how he progresses.
“He showed some great touches and is going to be a welcome addition with all the injuries we have, at the moment.”
Bradford are next in action on Tuesday night, when they host another League One side, Shrewsbury Town, in an FA Cup first-round replay, with the winner set to face Mansfield Town in the second round at the end of November.
This looks to be a big boost for Bradford.
With the Bantams pushing for promotion back to League One at the first attempt this season, they will need as many options available to them as possible this season, particularly with League Two looking as competitive as it does right now.
Having Reeves back therefore adds another one of those options for them, and the fact that he is already impressing with his performances back in the side only helps them further here.
The important thing now is that Bradford ensure they do not rush him back too quickly, lest they cause any unintentional damage that could leave him back on the sidelines again, which is the last thing anyone around the club will want.