Bradford City: Death of a double act but James Hanson looks to the future after Nahki Wells departure

Bradford City: Death of a double act but Hanson looks to the future

City celebrate James Hanson’s goal against Bristol City

Nahki Wells scoring his first Bantams goal against Barnet in August, 2011

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford City Reporter

Hanson and Wells, Wells and Hanson – the names have been inextricably linked in the past two years.

Phil Parkinson recently described them as probably the best front two in League One. With the possible exception of Leon Clarke and Callum Wilson at Coventry, it was impossible to argue.

James Hanson was there for Nahki Wells from day one; as chauffeur to training before the Bermudian learned to drive, confidante while he found his feet at Valley Parade and most importantly partner-in-crime capable of picking the lock of any back four.

Of the 53 goals Wells scored in City colours, 49 of them came when Hanson was on the pitch. Before Saturday, only four of Hanson’s previous 24 were scored without the number 21 in close proximity.

Their understanding was almost telepathic, with Wells knowing exactly where to be for the knockdowns when Hanson invariably won the duels in the air.

As Wells said of the striking double act a couple of months back: “We tick all the boxes together.”

That bond was broken last Friday tea-time when Wells held aloft the blue and white stripes, ironically joining the club which had released Hanson “for being too small” as a youngster.

Hanson nailed down his own Valley Parade future last month when he signed a new deal until the summer of 2017. His worth to the club remains immense – as demonstrated with his return to form against Bristol City at the weekend.

If ever City needed a trademark powerhouse performance from the big fella, it was Saturday with the wounds of the Wells exit still so raw. And he certainly delivered.

Hanson was gutted to see Wells move on but can understand his friend’s eagerness to step up a division. He is adamant that the 23-year-old’s debut goal against Millwall will be the first of many in the Championship.

“It’s a great chance for Nahki ,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it, he has got all the attributes and time on his side.

“He will probably admit himself he might have to change his game a little bit. He just needs to work on different little bits that will help improve him.

“You look at Charlie Austin. QPR only play one up front now and he’s had to change his game and he’s still scoring goals.

“If Nahki can work on that side of his game and still gets in the box to be in the right place at the right time, then I’m sure he’ll keep scoring goals. It’s a shame to lose him but he made it aware that he didn’t want to sign a new contract. So the club have got to look after themselves.

“I don’t know how much they’d be willing to lose if they had left it to the summer so you can understand why the club had to make that decision to sell him.”

Hanson netted two against Barnet way back in August 2011 when Wells first came off the bench, replacing Mark Stewart, and found time to get his opening entry on the City scoresheet.

The Bermudian actually replaced the targetman before launching the FA Cup rocket against Rochdale that really announced him on the scene.

Wells only scored three more without Hanson at his side – in back-to-back games in September 2012 when his partner was injured and, finally, this time last year against Oxford when Hanson was given a breather after the Aston Villa first leg.

Hanson had a hand – or usually a head – in many of the goals during the prolific eight-match run which saw Wells equal a club record in August.

But he had detected a slight change in the striker’s demeanour as the transfer talk snowballed – even if Wells gave little away.

“Nahki always keeps his cards close to his chest. He’s been like that ever since day one.

“He’s quite level-headed and kept his feet on the ground but this has obviously been on his mind.

“He probably felt he was ready to move on so it was right for everyone.

“It’s a shame to lose him but it’s a challenge as well for all the other lads to step up to the mark. Whoever comes in, we need to keep our season going.”

Hanson, as the battered and bruised Bristol City defenders will testify, is ready to meet that next challenge head on.

“Since last year, we’ve had everything our own way. It was the same at the start of this season.

“This is a challenge that we’ve got to get out of it and I’m confident we can do it. We’ve faced problems before and come through.

“We know what we’re capable of doing. Look back to when we beat Brentford 4-0 and they are top of the league – that shows how well we can play.

“If we can start producing those performances again, I still think we could get back up there and be chasing fifth or sixth.”

Comments (10)

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11:25am Tue 14 Jan 14

ynotdunne says...

Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.
Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle. ynotdunne
  • Score: 9

12:31pm Tue 14 Jan 14

jamiejoe says...

ynotdunne wrote:
Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.
... and i thought that Reid and Doyle were amongst our better players.

I guess it is a game of opinions - we need to shake it up and do the business on the pitch again and we have an opportunity to do that if we get it right.
[quote][p][bold]ynotdunne[/bold] wrote: Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.[/p][/quote]... and i thought that Reid and Doyle were amongst our better players. I guess it is a game of opinions - we need to shake it up and do the business on the pitch again and we have an opportunity to do that if we get it right. jamiejoe
  • Score: 2

12:42pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Michael Clayton says...

ynotdunne wrote:
Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.
Hanson will not miss Wells if a suitable replacement is found. (I would have been more concerned if Hanson had left as he provides more to the team).

Likewise, Wells will not miss Hanson because he is playing at a higher level of football where the service is likely to be into his feet.
[quote][p][bold]ynotdunne[/bold] wrote: Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.[/p][/quote]Hanson will not miss Wells if a suitable replacement is found. (I would have been more concerned if Hanson had left as he provides more to the team). Likewise, Wells will not miss Hanson because he is playing at a higher level of football where the service is likely to be into his feet. Michael Clayton
  • Score: -3

12:52pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Farsley Bantam says...

Michael Clayton wrote:
ynotdunne wrote: Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.
Hanson will not miss Wells if a suitable replacement is found. (I would have been more concerned if Hanson had left as he provides more to the team). Likewise, Wells will not miss Hanson because he is playing at a higher level of football where the service is likely to be into his feet.
Quite. So many City fans (with a large helping of bitterness) have been saying 'Wells is nothing without Hanson'. With our style of play this is largely true but with a decent footballing side who play it on the deck the Hanson role is not required.
[quote][p][bold]Michael Clayton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ynotdunne[/bold] wrote: Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.[/p][/quote]Hanson will not miss Wells if a suitable replacement is found. (I would have been more concerned if Hanson had left as he provides more to the team). Likewise, Wells will not miss Hanson because he is playing at a higher level of football where the service is likely to be into his feet.[/p][/quote]Quite. So many City fans (with a large helping of bitterness) have been saying 'Wells is nothing without Hanson'. With our style of play this is largely true but with a decent footballing side who play it on the deck the Hanson role is not required. Farsley Bantam
  • Score: -1

12:54pm Tue 14 Jan 14

ynotdunne says...

jamiejoe wrote:
ynotdunne wrote: Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.
... and i thought that Reid and Doyle were amongst our better players. I guess it is a game of opinions - we need to shake it up and do the business on the pitch again and we have an opportunity to do that if we get it right.
Correct me if im wrong but Reid and Doyle are injured
[quote][p][bold]jamiejoe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ynotdunne[/bold] wrote: Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.[/p][/quote]... and i thought that Reid and Doyle were amongst our better players. I guess it is a game of opinions - we need to shake it up and do the business on the pitch again and we have an opportunity to do that if we get it right.[/p][/quote]Correct me if im wrong but Reid and Doyle are injured ynotdunne
  • Score: 3

1:11pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Stevie-C says...

jamiejoe wrote:
ynotdunne wrote:
Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.
... and i thought that Reid and Doyle were amongst our better players.

I guess it is a game of opinions - we need to shake it up and do the business on the pitch again and we have an opportunity to do that if we get it right.
Agree, but I am assuming ynotdunne is thinking about the present rather than long term, as Reid & Doyle are currently injured? Up to the Bristol City game, Kennedy had not impressed whatsoever, but he gave a very good account of himself especially second half. Hopefully that solid display of going in for tackles, tracking back and good vision/awareness will continue and maybe Kennedy could be a long-term replacement for Jonah?
[quote][p][bold]jamiejoe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ynotdunne[/bold] wrote: Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.[/p][/quote]... and i thought that Reid and Doyle were amongst our better players. I guess it is a game of opinions - we need to shake it up and do the business on the pitch again and we have an opportunity to do that if we get it right.[/p][/quote]Agree, but I am assuming ynotdunne is thinking about the present rather than long term, as Reid & Doyle are currently injured? Up to the Bristol City game, Kennedy had not impressed whatsoever, but he gave a very good account of himself especially second half. Hopefully that solid display of going in for tackles, tracking back and good vision/awareness will continue and maybe Kennedy could be a long-term replacement for Jonah? Stevie-C
  • Score: 5

1:13pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Stevie-C says...

Stevie-C wrote:
jamiejoe wrote:
ynotdunne wrote:
Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.
... and i thought that Reid and Doyle were amongst our better players.

I guess it is a game of opinions - we need to shake it up and do the business on the pitch again and we have an opportunity to do that if we get it right.
Agree, but I am assuming ynotdunne is thinking about the present rather than long term, as Reid & Doyle are currently injured? Up to the Bristol City game, Kennedy had not impressed whatsoever, but he gave a very good account of himself especially second half. Hopefully that solid display of going in for tackles, tracking back and good vision/awareness will continue and maybe Kennedy could be a long-term replacement for Jonah?
Sorry, had not refreshed the page when I commented and therefore not seen ynotdunne's latest comment. Glad my assumption was correct! :-)
[quote][p][bold]Stevie-C[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jamiejoe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ynotdunne[/bold] wrote: Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.[/p][/quote]... and i thought that Reid and Doyle were amongst our better players. I guess it is a game of opinions - we need to shake it up and do the business on the pitch again and we have an opportunity to do that if we get it right.[/p][/quote]Agree, but I am assuming ynotdunne is thinking about the present rather than long term, as Reid & Doyle are currently injured? Up to the Bristol City game, Kennedy had not impressed whatsoever, but he gave a very good account of himself especially second half. Hopefully that solid display of going in for tackles, tracking back and good vision/awareness will continue and maybe Kennedy could be a long-term replacement for Jonah?[/p][/quote]Sorry, had not refreshed the page when I commented and therefore not seen ynotdunne's latest comment. Glad my assumption was correct! :-) Stevie-C
  • Score: 5

1:41pm Tue 14 Jan 14

bcfc1903 says...

jamiejoe wrote:
ynotdunne wrote:
Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.
... and i thought that Reid and Doyle were amongst our better players.

I guess it is a game of opinions - we need to shake it up and do the business on the pitch again and we have an opportunity to do that if we get it right.
Without doubt Reid and Doyle are among our best players.
[quote][p][bold]jamiejoe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ynotdunne[/bold] wrote: Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.[/p][/quote]... and i thought that Reid and Doyle were amongst our better players. I guess it is a game of opinions - we need to shake it up and do the business on the pitch again and we have an opportunity to do that if we get it right.[/p][/quote]Without doubt Reid and Doyle are among our best players. bcfc1903
  • Score: 3

3:43pm Tue 14 Jan 14

ynotdunne says...

bcfc1903 wrote:
jamiejoe wrote:
ynotdunne wrote: Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.
... and i thought that Reid and Doyle were amongst our better players. I guess it is a game of opinions - we need to shake it up and do the business on the pitch again and we have an opportunity to do that if we get it right.
Without doubt Reid and Doyle are among our best players.
The team I quoted was out of those whom are available for selection, please do try keep in the loop with team affairs.
[quote][p][bold]bcfc1903[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jamiejoe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ynotdunne[/bold] wrote: Bring in mcclean, proven at this level and not gonna go the dogs over the 62. Looks like the perfect replacement for wells, wells will miss Hanson but get this lad in and Hanson will not miss wells.put young lad from villa on the right and Yeats on the left with Kennedy and Jones in the middle.[/p][/quote]... and i thought that Reid and Doyle were amongst our better players. I guess it is a game of opinions - we need to shake it up and do the business on the pitch again and we have an opportunity to do that if we get it right.[/p][/quote]Without doubt Reid and Doyle are among our best players.[/p][/quote]The team I quoted was out of those whom are available for selection, please do try keep in the loop with team affairs. ynotdunne
  • Score: 0

8:05pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Cityman23 says...

It is a big consolation that, though we've lost Nahki Wells we've still got 'Big' Jim! The guy is often underated and even dismissed but his performance on Saturday was just the tonic we needed at a lowpoint for supporters.

We beat 'the Blades' in the home league fixture so hopefully we can go to Sheffield on Saturday and compete for a point (or maybe more?!!)
It is a big consolation that, though we've lost Nahki Wells we've still got 'Big' Jim! The guy is often underated and even dismissed but his performance on Saturday was just the tonic we needed at a lowpoint for supporters. We beat 'the Blades' in the home league fixture so hopefully we can go to Sheffield on Saturday and compete for a point (or maybe more?!!) Cityman23
  • Score: 1

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