John Hendrie: James Hanson facing key summer at Bradford City

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: James Hanson became City’s talisman once Nahki Wells left James Hanson became City’s talisman once Nahki Wells left

On Parade – with John Hendrie

Hopefully City have got to the bottom of what’s been wrong with James Hanson and can solve it over the close season.

It’s been a concern for him and it’s crucial for the team that James gets everything sorted this summer.

Twelve goals was a good return last season, considering the games he missed and losing his regular strike partner as well.

Once Nahki Wells went, it was up to James to become the talisman and he did before the injury.

I’ve said it so many times but he is very influential in both boxes, almost as important defensively as attacking-wise.

Like Gary Jones, he has been one of the first names down on the team sheet because of the way Bradford play.

The big question was whether he could make the adjustment to the next level up – but I never had any doubts.

James has had his critics and people telling him he can’t do this or that. But nobody can do it all.

The secret is playing to your strengths and that’s what Bradford do with James Hanson.

A lot of opposing sides will concentrate on sticking their big lump against James and sit someone in front to stop the supply.

Many have tried and some times they’ve been successful. But more often than not, James comes out on top.

You put the ball in the right area in the box and he’ll cause damage. He’s a handful and is always willing to put a shift in.

People say that players do nothing now because they are away on their holidays. But that’s a thing of the past.

Football is all about preparation and those players will have their fitness programmes while they are relaxing.

When you finish at the beginning of May and don’t go back to July 1, that time in between can be used in a positive way.

City need James to come back fit and able to gradually build up like the rest of them.

And the more effective James is, the more that will help Aaron Mclean.

It’s a big summer for him as well because he didn’t play a lot of football before coming to Bradford. His sharpness wasn’t quite there and you can’t just turn it on and off like a tap.

We’ve seen him perform in fits and starts so far and he banged in a couple of great goals at the end. The potential is there once he’s up to speed and a proper pre-season will help that.

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