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Bradford City spoilt for choice up front, says Mark Lawn
The Bermudian top scorer is sidelined for the next fortnight at least as he recovers from ankle ligament damage.
He will sit out tomorrow’s trip to Walsall, which is the first of four games in October against sides in the top half of League One.
After the ninth-placed Saddlers, who last week became the only side to take a point off runaway leaders Leyton Orient, the Bantams also face trips to Crawley and Preston and a mouth-watering Valley Parade showdown with Wolves at the end of the month.
Only Tranmere, who visit West Yorkshire a week on Sunday, are not in the leading bunch in a run of fixtures that should give a good indication of City’s prospects.
The absence of Wells provides an added test, with Mark Yeates the favourite to deputise after his performance off the bench against Shrewsbury.
Joint-chairman Lawn insists Phil Parkinson has the options to cope without their nine-goal talisman.
He said: “We have got a good squad. People say it’s small but we have cover in every single place.
“Yeates came on last week and played a different style. He’s definitely got that craft and guile.
“You saw it with the first goal. He was cool in the area and then played the little lay on through for (Kyel) Reid. But it will be interesting to see who Phil goes with because there are different choices.
“Caleb Folan has just come in, they are telling me that Andy Gray is flying in training and then there’s Alan Connell. So we have got scope within the squad.
"(James) Hanson and Wells were the first names on the team-sheet. Now you’ve lost Wells, there are others all fighting because they know there’s only that one shot.
“It’s good when you’ve got that calibre of player chasing the shirt.”
Lawn has been hugely impressed with City’s start since going up, which sees them sitting in fifth with 18 points from the opening nine games. The approaching matches could offer more conclusive proof of their ability to stay with the pack.
He added: “I looked at the first five games and would have been happy with five points. At that stage we’d got eight.
“It sounds stupid but with the situation we have now, two points a game is champions form.
“Normally we’d be top of the league doing that at this time of year but it seems there are some very good sides up there – I watched Orient on telly and was very impressed with how organised they were.
“I know people are going to say we haven’t really played anybody in the top ten. I look at that myself.
“But we’ve had to beat the teams in front of us and I think we’ve done exceptionally well. We’ve shown we can cope in this league.
“This month will be tough and by the end of it, you can start to think where the season is going. Walsall, Crawley, Wolves and Preston are all up there but I think we’re ready for that challenge.
“You usually get a good idea after 13 to 15 games. There’s always one team who drops off or one who comes up from mid-table, like we did last season, but the basis of the table is there or thereabouts. If we’re still in the play-offs at that stage, it bodes well for the season.”
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