McCall heads to Wembley hoping for Bradford win
Former Bradford captain and manager Stuart McCall hopes City’s Wembley outing can kick-start a lasting renaissance for the club.
McCall was a key figure at Bradford through their greatest and darkest days and will be present on Sunday as a fan when they take on Swansea in the Capital One Cup final.
McCall helped the Bantams to promotion from the Third Division in his first spell after the tragedy of the fire in 1985 that killed 56 people at Valley Parade and saw his father badly hurt.
He returned after spells at Everton and Rangers to take them up another level to the Premier League in 1999 as club captain. But financial problems saw them slump down the leagues and McCall took over as manager in 2007 in the bottom tier of English football. They are only one rung above that now.
The Motherwell manager will revel in the club’s day at Wembley and is optimistic about their chances of upsetting the odds again. But he is desperate to see them back in the upper reaches of the game.
McCall said: “It was no surprise they sold their tickets out straight away. It’s a big city.
“And, when we got promoted to the Premiership 12 or 13 years ago, you got a new brand of supporter. Unfortunately, since those days, the club has been on a slippery slope with relegation after relegation. The fans more than anyone deserve it. They will have a great turnout and I’m sure they will enjoy their day, and it’s not a foregone conclusion.
“Naturally, Swansea are favourites but, if you can play Wigan and Arsenal and be undefeated and knock out Villa over two legs, why can’t they do it?”
Phil Parkinson’s men are 11th in npower League One following their 2-1 defeat by bottom club Wimbledon last weekend.
McCall could not guide them to the play-offs amid budget cuts, and he hopes their run to Wembley inspires Bradford to continued success. He said: “I was disappointed for them the other day, they lost a couple of late goals. They have got to Wembley, which has been an incredible achievement.
“They just need to get back up there and, hopefully, get promotion, which I think would snowball everything at the club because it’s certainly a Championship club in the making.”
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