Fighting talk from Bantams old boy McLaren as Hanson and Goodison ready to go toe-to-toe (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Fighting talk from Bantams old boy Paul McLaren as James Hanson and Ian Goodison ready to go toe-to-toe
City old boy Paul McLaren, pictured, has hyped up the clash between Tranmere defender Ian Goodison and striker James Hanson
Paul McLaren reckons the heavyweight contest between two players celebrating milestones will decide the Valley Parade verdict tomorrow.
In the claret and amber corner is James Hanson, City’s in-form targetman making his 150th league start for his home-town club.
Facing him will be the no-nonsense veteran Jamaican Ian Goodison – playing his 400th game in Tranmere colours.
Former midfielder McLaren, who played for both clubs, predicts their battle within a battle will be the key factor on a day when the home side will be firm favourites.
McLaren played in the same team as centre half Goodison during two spells on the Wirral which sandwiched a year under Stuart McCall at Valley Parade.
He said: “I can’t believe Goody is still going at nearly 41. This has got to be his last season.
“But he’s a good defender and always finds a way to get his man. Centre forwards come off the pitch black and blue after facing him.
“He will use his experience and try to do things like rake his studs down the back of your leg. He even does that in training – he’s got it off to a tee!
“He will be trying to smash Hanson all over the park.”
But McLaren, now a football agent since hanging up his boots in 2012, believes the Bantams battering ram will give as good as he gets.
Having been at Wembley to see City trample over Northampton in the play-off final, he is impressed by the way Hanson has stepped up a level.
“Watching Hanson reminds me of an older pro with the way he plays. He has found his position and knows what to do.
“Northampton couldn’t handle him in that play-off game and he wins everything in the air. He won’t be intimidated by anything Goody tries to do.”
Tranmere led League One for the first two thirds of last season. But their woeful form since then – only two wins in the last 19 games – means the knives are out for boss Ronnie Moore.
McLaren added: “You are never more than three or four games away from being under the cosh as a manager.
“But I know him well and Ronnie’s been here before. He won’t panic.
“He was in this position every year at Rotherham when they were always favourites to go down from the Championship.
“It’s similar with Tranmere now because of the poor start they’ve had. But if anyone can handle it, it’s Ronnie.
“They probably overachieved for the first half of last year. Ronnie made a rod for his own back because they were doing so well and the expectation levels rose.
“Now they are rock bottom of the league. They’ve also lost big players to injury like Andy Robinson and especially the lad James Wallace, who is the driving force in midfield.
“But his teams are always well organised and prepared. I’m sure he will have been drilling it into them in training this week.
“I’m sure in their position, he’d take a scrappy 0-0 now.”
McLaren masterminded Tranmere’s 3-0 win when the sides last met at Valley Parade in 2007. But he cannot see City being frustrated tomorrow.
“That crowd right behind them makes a difference and momentum is a massive thing in football.
“Once you get used to winning, you feel confident every time you cross that white line. It’s completely opposite to how Tranmere will be feeling.
“An early goal for Bradford and I can see them going on to win 3-0 or 4-0.”
Comments are closed on this article.