Next Game - Bradford City (home)

Last updated : 19 March 2002 By Tony Scholes

The hangovers are just about being dealt with when the shock news comes through that the game is off because of a frozen pitch and this despite the fact that we have undersoil heating. It really is hard to believe especially as the day before the players had been training on what was deemed a perfect surface and the weather had gone no worse.

All sorts of explanations were given by the club and one, from the Chief Executive himself, suggesting that the covers had caused condensation which froze was as good as it got. Why not just tell us that the undersoil heating had been switched off either intentionally or by mistake.

A month and a half later the game against Bradford City will be played. Our visitors are in exactly the same position they were in at the start of the year, 17th whilst the Clarets have dropped from top to 5th after a poor run of results.

Since the New Year Bradford City have played just five league games, winning and losing two and drawing one. The wins have come against Portsmouth at home 3-1 and a 1-0 win at Grimsby and they have suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Preston and lost at Wolves 3-1 on Saturday. The draw was 3-3 at Barnsley. Eoin Jess still leads their scorers with 11 and Ashley Ward, who scored at Wolves, has nine.

They looked as though they could pull off a shock win at Molineux and led from the 31st minute until just 14 minutes from the end before conceding three goals. The team at Molineux was: Alan Combe, Simon Grayson, Andy Tod, Andy Myers, Wayne Jacobs, Jamie Lawrence, Stuart McCall, Gary Locke Gareth Whalley (Juanjo 87), Ashley Ward, Gareth Grant (Eoin Jess 83). Subs not used: Jon Worsnop, Lewis Emanuel, Claus Jorgensen.

There have been one or two changes to the squad since the beginning of 2002 including some loan signings because of an injury crisis. The only departure on a permanent basis has been Robbie Blake who of course has joined the Clarets for £1 million whilst Benito Carbone has returned from a loan spell at Derby but now gone to Middlesbrough, again on loan.

They currently have four players with them on loan. Carl Muggleton has been there from Cheltenham since before New Year as has Stephen Caldwell from Newcastle. More recently they have added goalkeeper Alan Combe from Dundee United and Blackburn's Simon Grayson.

Fore more on Bradford City read our New Year's Day Match Preview