MANAGER: Two evenly matched teams

The Bantams and United are locked together on points at the upper end of the table and, with a big following for both teams expected, it’s building up to be an enjoyable Boxing Day when the teams lock horns.

Speaking ahead of the game, manager Paul Simpson said: “They’re a really good squad. I fully expected them to be pushing for the automatic places when the season started because they’re a very good group of players.

“They’re good collectively as well, and I don’t know the reasons why they’ve picked up some dodgy results recently.

“When I was looking at the league table and saw that we were a place above them I thought, well, if we can finish the season as it is now, we’ll have done really well.

“I think they’ll come good in the second half of the season, so we’ve just got to make sure part of that isn’t here on Boxing Day for them.”

“They’ll provide us with a good test, so it’s a great game to look forward to,” he added. “I think these are probably the strongest squad in the league, in my opinion.

“These are the games you want to be involved in. If you’re working at League Two level you want a really good home game on Boxing Day where the travelling support are going to come in their numbers.

“Again it’s two evenly matched teams and they have a very experienced manager who is desperate for success for his club. I’m looking forward to competing against them on Boxing Day.”

Leading the scoring charts for the visitors is former-Blue Andy Cook, who has 16 from all competitions so far.

“He’s having a great season for them,” he agreed. “You look at him and wonder how he’s able to do it, but he consistently gets goals, and we’ve got to try and stop him from doing it on the day.

“I know he’ll want to come here and bang a few goals in so we’ve got to be on our game to stop him. But there are other players in there. They’ve got a really talented group.

“Like I said last year, I’m just glad Mark Hughes isn’t playing. With a squad like that, whoever plays we’ll need to match them, it’s a simple as that.

“We know we’re going to have to be on our game. Everybody who is selected has to be absolutely spot on. We can’t have any excuses, or too much turkey, no extra pigs in blankets, by all means enjoy Christmas but come in ready to be absolutely at it.”



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