Bradford City odd job men do not provide a long-term fix at left back

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Carl McHugh, pictured, and Matthew Bates may have done all that was asked of them covering for the injured James Meredith but Phil Parkinson is right to continue his search for a recognised left back, according to Wayne Jacobs Carl McHugh, pictured, and Matthew Bates may have done all that was asked of them covering for the injured James Meredith but Phil Parkinson is right to continue his search for a recognised left back, according to Wayne Jacobs

City’s first back-to-back clean sheets of the season will not deflect Phil Parkinson from his on-going search for another left back, according to Wayne Jacobs.

Parkinson has been in the hunt for a specialist for the role ever since James Meredith was crocked with a broken metatarsal bone.

Since New Year’s Day, the job has been shared between central defenders Matthew Bates and Carl McHugh – willing but rather reluctant replacements.

Bates admits he “doesn’t enjoy” the alien position; McHugh, who has regained the shirt in the last two games because of his team-mate’s hip problem, is “not particularly comfortable”.

With Meredith at least another three weeks in his protective boot before he can even start putting normal pressure on his foot, that’s why Parkinson is still on the look-out for a proper back-up.

Jacobs, City’s left back for over a decade, can understand the manager’s dilemma.

He said: “I know Phil has looked at the situation and is trying to solve it. I don’t know if it’s a big issue for him but I’m sure it’s one he will be looking to rectify.

“The two guys who have come in have been steady and done okay but they are two very different people when they play there. They are both recognised centre halves.

“They are helping the team and the manager out rather than hoping to cement themselves in that spot.

“Matthew’s right-footed and that causes a problem when you try to link up and get down the left wing. He is obviously tempted to drive infield.

“I’ve been really impressed with Carl’s attitude when he’s played there and his mentality when he’s in the team. That shone through again last Tuesday when he came up with such a big goal on a big occasion.

“However he is a centre half and sometimes if you come up against a real out-and-out winger, agility and movement can be an issue when you’re playing in that role.”

Jacobs made 358 appearances for the Bantams, predominantly at left back where he saw off a host of pretenders.

There is an argument that defenders should be able to operate in any of the positions along the back four.

Using a centre half or right-footed player in that role is nothing new, Parkinson himself played Marcel Seip there for a significant spell during his first season at Valley Parade.

But Jacobs argues that the thought process is very different between a full back and someone used to defending down the middle.

“As centre halves, they’re not on the front foot as much as a natural full back would be,” he added.

“You’re looking to bomb on and join in, overlap and underlap. A lot of modern day full backs, and I certainly did, see themselves as an attacking player when the team have got the ball.

“You’re looking forward and recognising times to go early and how you might break them down on the left-hand side. The natural reaction if you’re a centre half is to back up play and stay solid. It’s obviously a different mindset.

“One bonus is their height. There are six-foot left backs out there and they bring something to set-plays, as Carl did against Port Vale.

“I’m sure they’d love to be playing centre half but also they want to be in the team. But it’s not a long-term solution.”

Meredith has been a huge success since Parkinson plucked him from York during the 2012 summer rebuild that set the foundations for promotion.

His absence this time last year with glandular fever hit the team hard – they only lost twice in the final two months when the Australian was back in situ.

Jacobs said: “He’s been very consistent. One of the exciting partnerships of last season was James and Kyel Reid on the left, it proved to be really productive for us.

“As far as his recovery from injury goes, he’s in a boot and everything is okay right now.

“But until you start trying to move forward into running, turning, twisting, jumping you don’t know how well it will settle. It could still be a while before he is ready to come back.”

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:17am Tue 25 Feb 14

audal says...

Any aspiring local league LB should be vying with others for trials down at VP.maybe there are and if so forgive my ignorance, the players are out there just ask big Jim pity we have no reserves to bring these lads through.
Any aspiring local league LB should be vying with others for trials down at VP.maybe there are and if so forgive my ignorance, the players are out there just ask big Jim pity we have no reserves to bring these lads through. audal
  • Score: -1

12:47pm Tue 25 Feb 14

silverbantam says...

I thought the reason Parkinson didn't recruit a left back as cover in the summer was because Carl McHugh could cover left back.

If I was McHugh I would take the opportunity to improve my skills at left back and make myself a more versatile player in the process. If he can only play centre back will Parky want to keep him in the summer ?

Doyle is useful visit he can play full back, centre half and midfield.

As we are nearly safe I would continue play McHugh at left back (definitely not the right footed Matthew Bates)
I thought the reason Parkinson didn't recruit a left back as cover in the summer was because Carl McHugh could cover left back. If I was McHugh I would take the opportunity to improve my skills at left back and make myself a more versatile player in the process. If he can only play centre back will Parky want to keep him in the summer ? Doyle is useful visit he can play full back, centre half and midfield. As we are nearly safe I would continue play McHugh at left back (definitely not the right footed Matthew Bates) silverbantam
  • Score: 2

2:28pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Waynus1971 says...

This was always my concern last summer. It was obvious last season that McHugh wasn't natural at left-back. Even Parkie brought in a series of left-backs on loan during Mezza's illness. Why the h3ll didn't Parkie look to bring in back-up in the summer? When Nelson left, I expected a left back to be signed. Instead, we have signed 2 more centre-backs (Bates & Taylor - remember him?). Now, Parkie claims it is more difficult to bring in left-backs so this should have been his priority in the summer.

He is allegedly waiting for a premiership club to allow a left back to join us on loan. The club currently have a player injured, so will not release him until they have sufficient cover. By the time he is available, could Mezza actually be ready to return?
This was always my concern last summer. It was obvious last season that McHugh wasn't natural at left-back. Even Parkie brought in a series of left-backs on loan during Mezza's illness. Why the h3ll didn't Parkie look to bring in back-up in the summer? When Nelson left, I expected a left back to be signed. Instead, we have signed 2 more centre-backs (Bates & Taylor - remember him?). Now, Parkie claims it is more difficult to bring in left-backs so this should have been his priority in the summer. He is allegedly waiting for a premiership club to allow a left back to join us on loan. The club currently have a player injured, so will not release him until they have sufficient cover. By the time he is available, could Mezza actually be ready to return? Waynus1971
  • Score: 1

3:09pm Tue 25 Feb 14

jackez20591 says...

silverbantam wrote:
I thought the reason Parkinson didn't recruit a left back as cover in the summer was because Carl McHugh could cover left back.

If I was McHugh I would take the opportunity to improve my skills at left back and make myself a more versatile player in the process. If he can only play centre back will Parky want to keep him in the summer ?

Doyle is useful visit he can play full back, centre half and midfield.

As we are nearly safe I would continue play McHugh at left back (definitely not the right footed Matthew Bates)
People are so adamant about us having to have a back up left back in the squad.

How exactly are we supposed to have signed someone, who would join the club, play 0 reserve games, and sit in the crowd every week hoping and praying Meredith gets injured. Its not realistic.

We dont have a backup right back in the squad, why dont people complain about that?
MCardle at right back is no better than Mchugh at left back. And Bates apparently isnt good enough for the team or for right back.
_________________

I struggle to buy in to this "im searching" line. It seriously can not be this hard to find a natural left back from the 44/50 clubs above us in the league system who can join on loan. Or somebody who is sitting at home waiting for a club. Its been almost 2 months without a left back now.

James Musa is a New Zealand U23 international, played at the olympic games, and joined Fulham, now released. Wonder if he has been contacted
[quote][p][bold]silverbantam[/bold] wrote: I thought the reason Parkinson didn't recruit a left back as cover in the summer was because Carl McHugh could cover left back. If I was McHugh I would take the opportunity to improve my skills at left back and make myself a more versatile player in the process. If he can only play centre back will Parky want to keep him in the summer ? Doyle is useful visit he can play full back, centre half and midfield. As we are nearly safe I would continue play McHugh at left back (definitely not the right footed Matthew Bates)[/p][/quote]People are so adamant about us having to have a back up left back in the squad. How exactly are we supposed to have signed someone, who would join the club, play 0 reserve games, and sit in the crowd every week hoping and praying Meredith gets injured. Its not realistic. We dont have a backup right back in the squad, why dont people complain about that? MCardle at right back is no better than Mchugh at left back. And Bates apparently isnt good enough for the team or for right back. _________________ I struggle to buy in to this "im searching" line. It seriously can not be this hard to find a natural left back from the 44/50 clubs above us in the league system who can join on loan. Or somebody who is sitting at home waiting for a club. Its been almost 2 months without a left back now. James Musa is a New Zealand U23 international, played at the olympic games, and joined Fulham, now released. Wonder if he has been contacted jackez20591
  • Score: 0

5:51pm Tue 25 Feb 14

jamiejoe says...

jackez20591 wrote:
silverbantam wrote: I thought the reason Parkinson didn't recruit a left back as cover in the summer was because Carl McHugh could cover left back. If I was McHugh I would take the opportunity to improve my skills at left back and make myself a more versatile player in the process. If he can only play centre back will Parky want to keep him in the summer ? Doyle is useful visit he can play full back, centre half and midfield. As we are nearly safe I would continue play McHugh at left back (definitely not the right footed Matthew Bates)
People are so adamant about us having to have a back up left back in the squad. How exactly are we supposed to have signed someone, who would join the club, play 0 reserve games, and sit in the crowd every week hoping and praying Meredith gets injured. Its not realistic. We dont have a backup right back in the squad, why dont people complain about that? MCardle at right back is no better than Mchugh at left back. And Bates apparently isnt good enough for the team or for right back. _________________ I struggle to buy in to this "im searching" line. It seriously can not be this hard to find a natural left back from the 44/50 clubs above us in the league system who can join on loan. Or somebody who is sitting at home waiting for a club. Its been almost 2 months without a left back now. James Musa is a New Zealand U23 international, played at the olympic games, and joined Fulham, now released. Wonder if he has been contacted
James Musa - or how much he would want in wages?

It is not one simple equation to balance out the squad ...
[quote][p][bold]jackez20591[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]silverbantam[/bold] wrote: I thought the reason Parkinson didn't recruit a left back as cover in the summer was because Carl McHugh could cover left back. If I was McHugh I would take the opportunity to improve my skills at left back and make myself a more versatile player in the process. If he can only play centre back will Parky want to keep him in the summer ? Doyle is useful visit he can play full back, centre half and midfield. As we are nearly safe I would continue play McHugh at left back (definitely not the right footed Matthew Bates)[/p][/quote]People are so adamant about us having to have a back up left back in the squad. How exactly are we supposed to have signed someone, who would join the club, play 0 reserve games, and sit in the crowd every week hoping and praying Meredith gets injured. Its not realistic. We dont have a backup right back in the squad, why dont people complain about that? MCardle at right back is no better than Mchugh at left back. And Bates apparently isnt good enough for the team or for right back. _________________ I struggle to buy in to this "im searching" line. It seriously can not be this hard to find a natural left back from the 44/50 clubs above us in the league system who can join on loan. Or somebody who is sitting at home waiting for a club. Its been almost 2 months without a left back now. James Musa is a New Zealand U23 international, played at the olympic games, and joined Fulham, now released. Wonder if he has been contacted[/p][/quote]James Musa - or how much he would want in wages? It is not one simple equation to balance out the squad ... jamiejoe
  • Score: 0

8:57pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Waynus1971 says...

jackez20591 wrote:
silverbantam wrote:
I thought the reason Parkinson didn't recruit a left back as cover in the summer was because Carl McHugh could cover left back.

If I was McHugh I would take the opportunity to improve my skills at left back and make myself a more versatile player in the process. If he can only play centre back will Parky want to keep him in the summer ?

Doyle is useful visit he can play full back, centre half and midfield.

As we are nearly safe I would continue play McHugh at left back (definitely not the right footed Matthew Bates)
People are so adamant about us having to have a back up left back in the squad.

How exactly are we supposed to have signed someone, who would join the club, play 0 reserve games, and sit in the crowd every week hoping and praying Meredith gets injured. Its not realistic.

We dont have a backup right back in the squad, why dont people complain about that?
MCardle at right back is no better than Mchugh at left back. And Bates apparently isnt good enough for the team or for right back.
_________________

I struggle to buy in to this "im searching" line. It seriously can not be this hard to find a natural left back from the 44/50 clubs above us in the league system who can join on loan. Or somebody who is sitting at home waiting for a club. Its been almost 2 months without a left back now.

James Musa is a New Zealand U23 international, played at the olympic games, and joined Fulham, now released. Wonder if he has been contacted
But if we had signed a left-back in the summer, he wouldn't necessarily be the back up. This is where we have been poor this season. When you look to improve a squad, surely you look for players better than the ones you already have. Kennedy is no better than either Jones or Doyle, Taylor no better than the CBs already at the club and Folan was not any better than our front two.
Ok, Yeates and de Vita came with decent track records, but 2 signings out of all those made, simply isn't good enough.

As for right backs, apparently they're easier to sign and if not, as well as having McArdle, Doyle could fill in there??
[quote][p][bold]jackez20591[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]silverbantam[/bold] wrote: I thought the reason Parkinson didn't recruit a left back as cover in the summer was because Carl McHugh could cover left back. If I was McHugh I would take the opportunity to improve my skills at left back and make myself a more versatile player in the process. If he can only play centre back will Parky want to keep him in the summer ? Doyle is useful visit he can play full back, centre half and midfield. As we are nearly safe I would continue play McHugh at left back (definitely not the right footed Matthew Bates)[/p][/quote]People are so adamant about us having to have a back up left back in the squad. How exactly are we supposed to have signed someone, who would join the club, play 0 reserve games, and sit in the crowd every week hoping and praying Meredith gets injured. Its not realistic. We dont have a backup right back in the squad, why dont people complain about that? MCardle at right back is no better than Mchugh at left back. And Bates apparently isnt good enough for the team or for right back. _________________ I struggle to buy in to this "im searching" line. It seriously can not be this hard to find a natural left back from the 44/50 clubs above us in the league system who can join on loan. Or somebody who is sitting at home waiting for a club. Its been almost 2 months without a left back now. James Musa is a New Zealand U23 international, played at the olympic games, and joined Fulham, now released. Wonder if he has been contacted[/p][/quote]But if we had signed a left-back in the summer, he wouldn't necessarily be the back up. This is where we have been poor this season. When you look to improve a squad, surely you look for players better than the ones you already have. Kennedy is no better than either Jones or Doyle, Taylor no better than the CBs already at the club and Folan was not any better than our front two. Ok, Yeates and de Vita came with decent track records, but 2 signings out of all those made, simply isn't good enough. As for right backs, apparently they're easier to sign and if not, as well as having McArdle, Doyle could fill in there?? Waynus1971
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree