Bradford City centre-back McArdle enhances reputation as player with knack of scoring key goals (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford City centre-back Rory McArdle enhances reputation as player with knack of scoring key goals
In-form Rory McArdle has pledged to carry on scoring goals that matter for City.
The Northern Ireland international notched his second of the season to rescue a midweek point at Preston.
His precise header from a corner by Gary Jones was the latest in a run of significant finishes from the central defender. McArdle is gaining a reputation for notching key goals.
His other goal on opening day also earned City a share of the spoils on their League One debut at Bristol City.
McArdle’s tally of four last season included headers against Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg at Valley Parade and the second goal at Wembley against Northampton in the play-off showpiece.
And there was also an equaliser at Torquay on Easter Monday – the comeback win that sparked the late charge which saw the Bantams go on to snatch promotion.
McArdle said: “I’m pleased my goals mean something, they are not pointless ones. It’s important that people like me chip in.
“The header I had at the end at Crawley should have gone in as well and that would have taken a point out of that game.
“But it also shows that we are dangerous from set-pieces. Gaz’s delivery against Preston was absolutely spot on – I just gambled and made the run and the ball was there.”
With City currently nestled in fifth spot, McArdle feels they have settled in smoothly after stepping up a division. The rise in standard has been smaller than he anticipated.
“This division is a blend of everything but we thought that more teams would try and play a little bit compared with last year.
“There isn’t that much difference. Look at the lads who have played so far, it’s near enough the same team and that shows it’s not a massive step.”
McArdle insists City can approach this afternoon’s mouth-watering Valley Parade clash with Wolves in high spirits after their Deepdale draw.
With another bumper crowd expected, he is braced for an occasion to rival the Yorkshire derby win over Sheffield United in August.
He added: “Our fans will get right behind us and I know they will bring quite a few up. It should be a great atmosphere and there’s no reason why we can’t get something.
“Sheffield United aren’t doing as well as they’d expect but that was a big game at home and we played really well to get the result that day. This will be the same.
“The performance against Preston has given us a lot of confidence. This is arguably going to be one of the hardest games in this league and we didn’t want to go into it having lost three in a row.
“Going down to places like Plymouth and Exeter and spending six hours on the bus last season was tough. But it makes you appreciate all the hard work now we are playing the likes of Preston and Wolves.
“Preston are probably in the same boat as Bradford. It’s a fantastic place to play and they should be at least in the Championship.
“We knew we had to put in a big performance after the disappointing result at Crawley and hopefully we gave the fans something they could be proud of.”
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