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Pete Barrow: Michael Laudrup leads plaudits for battling Bradford City

BRADFORD City go back to their day jobs tonight as Dagenham and Redbridge roll up at Valley Parade for a League II fixture that the Bantams need to win to get their push for the play-offs back on track.

BRADFORD City go back to their day jobs tonight as Dagenham and Redbridge roll up at Valley Parade for a League II fixture that the Bantams need to win to get their push for the play-offs back on track.

It is not that City have particularly lost form, but a certain cup run has left them with games in hand on those above them and a bit of work to do to break into the top seven.

One thing is probably certain, Bradford will not face an opening 70 seconds to match the one that they faced as they took on and lost 5-0 to Premier League Swansea City in the Capitol One Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.

If ever there was a perfect method to psychologically stamp your authority on the game it was the way the Welshmen started the final.

In those first 70 seconds Bradford did not touch the ball as their opponents put together a 27-pass move that allowed all but one of their outfield players to have a touch of possession.

For Swansea’s players it settled the nerves and to Bradford it asked a simple question: “How are you going to win a game of football when you haven’t got the football?”

But to be fair to Bradford and their fans, they enjoyed a big day out that 90 other clubs who qualified for the competition weren’t a party to, but sadly they just suffered a defeat by the kind of margin that could have been inflicted upon them by Wigan Athletic, Arsenal or, particularly, Aston Villa over two games, in the earlier rounds.

What the Bantams achieved was special and as that class act Michael Laudrup, the Swansea manager, quite beautifully put it: “What they (Bradford) have done this season is absolutely outstanding and I think this final this year will remain in history – a small part because of us and a large part because of Bradford.”

 

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