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Bradford City can expect no gifts this Christmas, as they prepare for tough test of play-off credentials
City are locked in an eight-team battle for the last two play-off spots, according to Mark Lawn.
After the free weekend, Phil Parkinson’s troops today begin the build-up towards Saturday’s home clash with leaders Leyton Orient – the start of a tough four-game run against sides above them.
Peterborough, Rotherham and Swindon all follow to challenge City’s credentials as a potential top-six contender.
Lawn admitted: “It will show where we are in this league. I think we play probably the best two teams in the next two games – Leyton Orient and Peterborough.
“Then we’ve got to decide how we’re going to beat Rotherham. Whether they are better than us or not, they certainly have a way of beating us.
“But I believe we’ve proved we’re seriously top half of this table (material) and this is a good test.”
City have slipped just below the play-off zone and trail the sixth-placed Millers by a point.
Even at this early stage, joint-chairman Lawn reckons the first four spots are already sewn up because of the hot pace being set at the top, with the chasing pack looking at fifth at best.
He said: “There are two places (up for grabs) and I think there are eight teams looking at them.
“It’s important that we stay in touch, don’t get over-excited when we win or too disheartened when we lose.
“As Alex Ferguson always used to say, if you’re there or thereabouts in March and can put a run together, you’ll get to where you want to be.
“That’s what we’ve got to aim for. That’s what happened last year and we did it very well.
“It might be down to (fitness coach) Nick Allamby as well when other people start to wilt.
“If we can kick on from March again, we might get in the play-offs.”
City have won only once in the last nine games since their impressive start to League One. Lawn believes opponents are wising up to their strengths.
“I think we’re just having a bit of a blip where we need to turn up the gas a little more. Perhaps we have to look at different ways of doing things.
“When you come into a new league, people take time before they can suss out the way you play and what you’re doing. I just think we’re at that stage where we might just have to throw it round a little bit.
“That’s why we’ve got a lot of draws. We’re difficult to beat anyway but they might have sussed us out and we need to work on other things.
“I think we needed this break. Fiscally it’s not helped but for the lads to get a weekend off will have done them a world of good.”
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