MARK Cooper expects Bradford City to come steaming out of the blocks at Valley Parade tomorrow, as they look to correct some poor recent home form.
The Bantams host Swindon Town in League One having lost each of their last two home matches in the division – to Peterborough United and Yeovil Town. A famous victory over Leeds United in the Capital One Cup has kept their supporters happy but Cooper is still anticipating a fast start from the hosts.
However, if Town can deal with the bulk and physicality of James Hanson and Aaron McLean, Cooper feels his side can impose themselves on the game.
He said of Bradford: “They’ve done very well. They’re a big club, they get crowds and they’ve made a good start. They’ve had a couple of hiccups at home and they had a poor result against Yeovil last week. They’ll be looking to put that right.
“I’m sure they’ll be looking for a fast start after last week and we have to deal with it. We have to deal with their threats and try to utilise ours.
“He’s a good centre-forward, he’s very strong and dominant in the air, and we have to make sure that we are defensively sound and we deal with him.
“We haven’t had the international boys to work with and they’re a big part of the team, so it’s hard to work on.”
Anton Rodgers has returned to training but is unlikely to be risked at Valley Parade, though Michael Smith should start despite a recent shoulder injury.
Of his striker, Cooper said: “He’s okay. We gave him a little bit of time to try to clear the shoulder up but they can linger and niggle, shoulder injuries, and he’s still got a little bit of discomfort but it wouldn’t stop him playing.”
Ben Gladwin remains sidelined with torn ankle ligaments but captain Nathan Thompson is back from suspension. Jon Obika and Jack Stephens are each set to make their second debut for the club following their Deadline Day arrivals in Wiltshire.