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Mark Yeates tipped to be Bradford City’s main man
Gary Jones has hailed midfield partner Mark Yeates as a City match-winner on the eve of Saturday’s duel for Yorkshire pride with Sheffield United.
The former Watford winger is expected to return to training today after undergoing an injection to calm down a knee problem.
Yeates scored a spectacular goal on his home debut and will be keen to repeat that form back at Valley Parade against a club where he played 56 times during an 18-month stay.
He was much quieter at Port Vale as City suffered their first loss of the new campaign but Phil Parkinson believes a couple of days’ rest has done the trick to ease any discomfort in his game.
Skipper Jones believes Yeates, who snubbed interest from Millwall to join City in the summer, has already become a key figure in the team’s plans.
He said: “Yeatesy is a great player with both feet. He has gelled into the team like he’s been here for a while.
“He’s knuckled down and been prepared to put the work in but you can also see that quality about him. He can win a game on his own at times.
“He’s come down from the Championship and not many would have done that. He’s fitted in to our system, the way we play and our work ethic fantastically well.
“You saw with that goal in the Carlisle game what he’s all about. The way he struck that ball was fantastic.
“Signing Mark Yeates has been a boost for everyone. We’ve got a really good squad and when you’ve got players like that coming in, it makes things even better.
“Credit to him that he chose to come to Bradford City. That shows we are a big club.”
The Bantams were off their game at Vale Park but Parkinson is confident of bouncing straight back in the cauldron atmosphere of a white rose derby.
The City chief said: “We didn’t play as well last week as we have been doing in the first three games. But when you analyse it, there were one or two disruptions that affected the team, James Hanson being one of them and Yeates the other.
“I’m not using that as an excuse. While some players maintained their standards, there were a few who weren’t quite at the level you expect.
“We’ve had a slight jolt but I still felt we were right in the game and did enough to deserve a result.
“But we’ve naturally regrouped this week and we’re looking for a reaction on Saturday. It’s a game that everyone is really looking forward to.”
City are still closely monitoring Hanson after it was confirmed that he had fractured his left hand. They are likely to wait until the last minute before ruling on the striker’s availability.
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