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Luke Oliver taking slow route back to Bradford City first team
Luke Oliver is content to use the “tortoise approach” to get him back to first-team football with City.
The big defender continued his slow and steady progress back from last year’s cruciate injury with a 75-minute outing in Tuesday’s private game against Accrington.
That followed a half-hour return at Harrogate Town and 60 minutes against Bradford Park Avenue in recent weeks.
Oliver is happy to take his time as he finds his feet again from the season-ending setback ten months ago at Burton.
He said: “It’s the tortoise approach, I’m not rushing my way back. If you get thrown in too soon you could be exposed. Slowly but surely I’m heading in the right direction.”
Oliver has been training regularly since the start of pre-season but admits the practice does not replicate the rough and tumble of a proper game.
He said: “My movement is getting better from training every day and you can feel that when I play. Hopefully with every game I can keep progressing more and more.
“Accrington were quite a young team so they were trying to play the ball on the floor all the time.
“I’m still waiting for that header when you can come through and go smash it. I haven’t had the opportunity yet.
“We’re working on heading in training, it’s just general match play you want to get under your belt. But things like that will come, the more you do.
“Everything has been positive. All the hard work from the staff is paying off and we’re looking forward instead of back.”
Having sat out so much of a memorable season, including two Wembley trips, Oliver is desperate to get involved again – but he is pleased with the way City have begun in League One.
“It’s frustrating (not to be playing) but the team’s had a good start to the season so it’s always going to be hard to get in anyway,” he said.
“I’m enjoying being back so I’m not too preoccupied by that yet. It’s just nice being in the squad again and looking forward to getting more games in.”
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