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James Hanson’s nagging injury a real pain for Bantams boss Phil Parkinson
The City chief intends to “get him right” for next season – and stop the number of late pull-outs that have hit selection plans recently.
Hanson dropped out of last week’s win over Crawley on the morning of the game complaining that the inflammation in his groin and lower back had flared up once again.
Aaron Mclean was thrown in and scored the first goal – but for Parkinson, it was the latest example of an on-going issue with his targetman’s availability.
The City boss has grown fed up with losing Hanson at the 11th hour after involving him in all the pre-match preparations. And he wants the issue resolved so there are no more repeats next term.
Parkinson said: “It’s not being detrimental to James but we have to look at how we are going to improve going forward to next year.
“We need to get James Hanson right. So if he’s fit, he’s fit; if he’s not, he’s not.
“We can’t have any of this ‘in one minute, out the next’ and doubting if he’s going to be okay or not.
“We thought we had got to the bottom of it but maybe not.”
Hanson has featured only once in City’s last seven games and Parkinson will closely monitor him ahead of the season-ending trip to Tranmere on Saturday.
He added: “I can go back over the games this season where it’s happened. It’s been four or five times and we’ve got to resolve that.
“Brentford and Peterborough away are two where we’d worked on different systems and different ways of playing and had to change it all on the morning of the game.
“We had to do it again against Crawley and fortunately we won and Aaron scored a goal.
“But we know we’ve got to improve the squad and we’ve got to get more out of some of the players we’ve got here, James being one of them.”
A City win at Prenton Park will relegate Tranmere, who go into the final day in the bottom four.
Parkinson believes the travelling fans should be comfortable in the knowledge that their own team are not facing a similar predicament in the first season back in League One.
“Tranmere are going to be absolutely fighting for their lives but we can go there to put on a professional display for our supporters.
“Hopefully we’ll have a lot come over and watch the game – and feel great that we’re not in that position.
“We’re not going into the last game under pressure. We’re in a good mid-table position and we want to go out in style.”
Meanwhile, Andy Gray last night left the club after it was agreed to end his contract early.
The veteran striker, whose deal was up at the end of June, has hardly featured since returning to Valley Parade 16 months ago. He scored just once in that time, against Peterborough in December.
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