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John Hendrie urges Bradford City to beat Blades to end Nahki Wells woes
John Hendrie believes Bramall Lane offers the perfect stage for City to blow away the Nahki Wells blues.
Hendrie and Ian Ormondroyd were the scorers when the Bantams last won a league visit to Sheffield United, a 2-1 Easter Monday success during the 1988 ‘nearly’ season.
City’s victory at Valley Parade in August was their first over the Blades in 15 attempts since, although they did come through on penalties in the JP Trophy at Bramall Lane in 2011.
With no wins in eight games currently and only one in 15, Phil Parkinson’s side need to arrest the slide which has seen them drop into mid-table.
Hendrie insists there would be no better time to do that than this afternoon by clinching a double over Nigel Clough’s Blades – and proving there is life after Wells.
He said: “The Nahki Wells situation became bigger than the club. It almost took over what the team were doing, which is wrong.
“It wasn’t just overtaking the boys on the pitch but the coaching staff, the board, the fans – but that’s all gone now. Nahki is history and everyone’s got to focus on looking ahead.
“They’ve got clear minds and a clear vision and there is another body in to give the place a spark.”
Striker Aaron Mclean’s arrival has raised the mood among fans still coming to terms with losing their top scorer to local rivals Huddersfield. Hendrie is banking on the Bantams to build on that with their first victory since beating MK Dons in November.
He said: “City have got to get three points sooner rather than later. For confidence, nothing beats getting that win on the board.
“There’s nothing better than going in to training on a Monday morning if you’ve just got three points. For the supporters, they can go out Saturday night with a smile on their faces.
“Everyone is buzzing on the back of that one result. When did they last have that?
“The Wells cloud has gone now and it would be a great place to get things going again.
“You go to some grounds and City are the big fish. Go down to Sheffield United and that’s a really big club.
“City always take a great following down there. It’s an old-fashioned stadium and always generates a big atmosphere – so where better to get that win again?”
Wells scored both goals when City beat the Blades at the start of the season during David Weir’s ill-fated short spell in charge.
Hendrie said: “The only difference between the teams that day was in the final third with Nahki Wells. That’s what you are missing.
“City might play average in some games but you always felt Nahki might nick them a goal. You need someone else to step up now and take over that mantle and hopefully Aaron will do that.”
* Don’t miss John Hendrie’s latest column in the T&A on Tuesday.
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