James Hanson keen to play his part in changing face of Bradford City

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: James Hanson in action during the pre-season match against Guiseley James Hanson in action during the pre-season match against Guiseley

JAMES Hanson is remarkably relaxed about the change of playing style expected from City this season.

Saturday’s friendly win at Guiseley was the first evidence in a shift of philosophy as they look to play through a narrower midfield diamond.

Phil Parkinson’s City have been synonymous with 4-4-2, with crosses and long passes looking to hit the head of Hanson.

At Nethermoor, we saw a switch in system to a link player operating in the hole between the strikers and a three-man cover.

It will suit the likes of Billy Clarke and Mark Yeates down to the ground; but how about a traditional centre forward?

Hanson is up for the challenge. He sees it as an opportunity to demonstrate that there are more strings to his bow than simply the bonce that gets on the end of everything.

He said: “I want to show people that I’ve got more to my game than just flicking balls on all the time. I can adapt to it.

“It was a bit strange on Saturday because we’d not played the diamond formation much last year.

“I know it was only a friendly but you’re having to concentrate on making different sort of runs to get on the ball because there’s always the man free behind you.

“It’s quite hard but I’m sure we’ll adapt to it better with more work on the training ground and playing games.

“I’m confident I will score goals in this side and we’ll have a good go this year.

“All the lads coming in are ball players. People like Billy Clarke and Billy Knott are very good technically.

“It’s just getting the balance right and fitting them all in because obviously you’ve got Yeatesy there as well. It’s going to be a tough decision for the gaffer but one that I’m sure he will welcome.”

Hanson did not get on the scoresheet during his 45-minute outing, even though all three City goals came during that first period.

But he was just glad to be involved again after the nagging back and groin issue that had brought his previous campaign to such a shuddering halt.

Hanson said: “I’ve really missed it. We’ve had a decent break but I’d probably been looking forward to the first game more than anyone.

“It’s been massively frustrating for me. It seems like ages since I last played.

“But I’ve got away, had a few breaks, and come back raring to go. I’ve had the right medication and feel 100 per cent now.

“The problem’s behind me now and I can’t wait to get going with a new season and the different style.”

Hanson is a veteran of City’s Ireland tours since Parkinson took charge. They might have upgraded their training base from the last two years but the big striker knows exactly what will be in store for the players over the coming days.

And the new arrivals have been quick to tap in to that knowledge so they are forewarned about the sessions that head of sports science Nick Allamby has drawn up.

Hanson said: “Usually Nick sticks to the same fitness programme for pre-season, so I’ve been telling them what to expect.

“The lads are always asking me about what run we’re going to have that afternoon and things like that – and 99 per cent of the time I can guess it right!

“But these trips are great. We’ve got a lot of new lads in and they’ve all settled well already but this week will really help.

“It’s just going to be a working trip, as Nick says. We can’t expect any easy days. We’re definitely going to come back a lot fitter and sharper.”

Ireland is a well-worn path for so many clubs – Wolves and MK Dons are currently over there as well. They face Bohemians and Bray Wanderers respectively tomorrow night, familiar opponents from City’s last two visits.

Hanson said: “I think it does make a difference. As the gaffer says, the Irish teams are halfway through the season, so they have a lot more match sharpness.

“You notice that straight away in the games because they are a lot quicker on the ball. That makes it a really good work-out for us.

“It’s nice to get that fitness in you to be ready for the new season. We’ve got a longer period this time before the first game so we can get prepared properly and hopefully get off to a good start like last year.”

Comments (11)

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8:57am Tue 15 Jul 14

dannbradfc says...

It'll be interesting to see if we go with a diamond and two up top or player in the 'hole'. Not a fan of the latter at all as i feel it can leave the forward isolated. Plus we have maclean and Hanson so does one give way? Guess it also depends on whether we get decent wingers in. My hope is that its two up top as the main plan but obviously adapting to the situation......
It'll be interesting to see if we go with a diamond and two up top or player in the 'hole'. Not a fan of the latter at all as i feel it can leave the forward isolated. Plus we have maclean and Hanson so does one give way? Guess it also depends on whether we get decent wingers in. My hope is that its two up top as the main plan but obviously adapting to the situation...... dannbradfc
  • Score: 7

10:17am Tue 15 Jul 14

lawsonio123 says...

James Hanson is a good centre forward well capable of scouring goals with his feet when given the opportunity indeed if you look back he has scoured some cracking goals with his feet he is by no means a static heading target and I am sure we shall see a very good all round centre forward this season. JAMES HANSON IS GOING TO SUPPRISE YOU ALL
James Hanson is a good centre forward well capable of scouring goals with his feet when given the opportunity indeed if you look back he has scoured some cracking goals with his feet he is by no means a static heading target and I am sure we shall see a very good all round centre forward this season. JAMES HANSON IS GOING TO SUPPRISE YOU ALL lawsonio123
  • Score: -5

10:19am Tue 15 Jul 14

Plastic Bantam says...

dannbradfc wrote:
It'll be interesting to see if we go with a diamond and two up top or player in the 'hole'. Not a fan of the latter at all as i feel it can leave the forward isolated. Plus we have maclean and Hanson so does one give way? Guess it also depends on whether we get decent wingers in. My hope is that its two up top as the main plan but obviously adapting to the situation......
Disagree... Two up top and 2 solid banks of four was too easily found out last season.. The midfield was left isolated and hardly contributed.. The wingers were doubled up and it just lead to the long diagonal ball from McArdle to Hanson. quick passing and through balls to the forwards seems to be a lot more effective in this league... I really hope Hanson can adapt to this new style of play. Not only because we have given him a fat new 4 year deal. But also I like the lad and want him to become a better player for us!!
[quote][p][bold]dannbradfc[/bold] wrote: It'll be interesting to see if we go with a diamond and two up top or player in the 'hole'. Not a fan of the latter at all as i feel it can leave the forward isolated. Plus we have maclean and Hanson so does one give way? Guess it also depends on whether we get decent wingers in. My hope is that its two up top as the main plan but obviously adapting to the situation......[/p][/quote]Disagree... Two up top and 2 solid banks of four was too easily found out last season.. The midfield was left isolated and hardly contributed.. The wingers were doubled up and it just lead to the long diagonal ball from McArdle to Hanson. quick passing and through balls to the forwards seems to be a lot more effective in this league... I really hope Hanson can adapt to this new style of play. Not only because we have given him a fat new 4 year deal. But also I like the lad and want him to become a better player for us!! Plastic Bantam
  • Score: -2

10:23am Tue 15 Jul 14

Peter300 says...

dannbradfc wrote:
It'll be interesting to see if we go with a diamond and two up top or player in the 'hole'. Not a fan of the latter at all as i feel it can leave the forward isolated. Plus we have maclean and Hanson so does one give way? Guess it also depends on whether we get decent wingers in. My hope is that its two up top as the main plan but obviously adapting to the situation......
For the past three seasons the persisent critiics of Phil Parkinson have always accused him of being negative and one dimensional and unable to change the system City play. This has never been true. It is actually these same critics who are the heads in the sand faction, because as soon as the manager hints at playing one up front, they continue complaining. Yet just about every manager in the league players selects just one striker for certain games - and often home games. For the majority of games last season Parkinson played with four attacking players. Two forwards and two wingers. That is not a defensive or negative line-up. I said last season that if so-called 'creative' midfielders are introduced, then two out-and-out wingers will no longer be selected. So just wait now for the usual tactically inept suspects on here to start whining about lack of wingers and being negative.
[quote][p][bold]dannbradfc[/bold] wrote: It'll be interesting to see if we go with a diamond and two up top or player in the 'hole'. Not a fan of the latter at all as i feel it can leave the forward isolated. Plus we have maclean and Hanson so does one give way? Guess it also depends on whether we get decent wingers in. My hope is that its two up top as the main plan but obviously adapting to the situation......[/p][/quote]For the past three seasons the persisent critiics of Phil Parkinson have always accused him of being negative and one dimensional and unable to change the system City play. This has never been true. It is actually these same critics who are the heads in the sand faction, because as soon as the manager hints at playing one up front, they continue complaining. Yet just about every manager in the league players selects just one striker for certain games - and often home games. For the majority of games last season Parkinson played with four attacking players. Two forwards and two wingers. That is not a defensive or negative line-up. I said last season that if so-called 'creative' midfielders are introduced, then two out-and-out wingers will no longer be selected. So just wait now for the usual tactically inept suspects on here to start whining about lack of wingers and being negative. Peter300
  • Score: -3

12:12pm Tue 15 Jul 14

Michael Clayton says...

Peter300 wrote:
dannbradfc wrote:
It'll be interesting to see if we go with a diamond and two up top or player in the 'hole'. Not a fan of the latter at all as i feel it can leave the forward isolated. Plus we have maclean and Hanson so does one give way? Guess it also depends on whether we get decent wingers in. My hope is that its two up top as the main plan but obviously adapting to the situation......
For the past three seasons the persisent critiics of Phil Parkinson have always accused him of being negative and one dimensional and unable to change the system City play. This has never been true. It is actually these same critics who are the heads in the sand faction, because as soon as the manager hints at playing one up front, they continue complaining. Yet just about every manager in the league players selects just one striker for certain games - and often home games. For the majority of games last season Parkinson played with four attacking players. Two forwards and two wingers. That is not a defensive or negative line-up. I said last season that if so-called 'creative' midfielders are introduced, then two out-and-out wingers will no longer be selected. So just wait now for the usual tactically inept suspects on here to start whining about lack of wingers and being negative.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to satisfy all of the people all of the time. There is nothing wrong with a long-range 'pass' on to the head if used effectively. Equally, playing the ball through midfield can be the key to unlocking the defence. Personally, I think that a mixture of the two is the ideal scenario but how you achieve it is another question.
[quote][p][bold]Peter300[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dannbradfc[/bold] wrote: It'll be interesting to see if we go with a diamond and two up top or player in the 'hole'. Not a fan of the latter at all as i feel it can leave the forward isolated. Plus we have maclean and Hanson so does one give way? Guess it also depends on whether we get decent wingers in. My hope is that its two up top as the main plan but obviously adapting to the situation......[/p][/quote]For the past three seasons the persisent critiics of Phil Parkinson have always accused him of being negative and one dimensional and unable to change the system City play. This has never been true. It is actually these same critics who are the heads in the sand faction, because as soon as the manager hints at playing one up front, they continue complaining. Yet just about every manager in the league players selects just one striker for certain games - and often home games. For the majority of games last season Parkinson played with four attacking players. Two forwards and two wingers. That is not a defensive or negative line-up. I said last season that if so-called 'creative' midfielders are introduced, then two out-and-out wingers will no longer be selected. So just wait now for the usual tactically inept suspects on here to start whining about lack of wingers and being negative.[/p][/quote]Unfortunately, it is impossible to satisfy all of the people all of the time. There is nothing wrong with a long-range 'pass' on to the head if used effectively. Equally, playing the ball through midfield can be the key to unlocking the defence. Personally, I think that a mixture of the two is the ideal scenario but how you achieve it is another question. Michael Clayton
  • Score: -6

1:13pm Tue 15 Jul 14

Bantam76 says...

If the diamond formation works, then that's great - we tried it against Peterborough towards the end of last season, and Adam Reach had a cracking game at the front of the diamond totally terrorising the two centre backs and being involved in their sending off because they struggled to cope with his pace and directness. If we can get the right player there and adapt, then it could be a great opportunity. At least if not, we can change our style throughout the game, not that that's the intention, but there's not much too wrong with mixing it up every now and again, as we did become a little predictable last season after a great start.
If the diamond formation works, then that's great - we tried it against Peterborough towards the end of last season, and Adam Reach had a cracking game at the front of the diamond totally terrorising the two centre backs and being involved in their sending off because they struggled to cope with his pace and directness. If we can get the right player there and adapt, then it could be a great opportunity. At least if not, we can change our style throughout the game, not that that's the intention, but there's not much too wrong with mixing it up every now and again, as we did become a little predictable last season after a great start. Bantam76
  • Score: 4

3:54pm Tue 15 Jul 14

ever the optimist says...

My god I would hate to play FIFA with you lot ;-)
My god I would hate to play FIFA with you lot ;-) ever the optimist
  • Score: 1

5:15pm Tue 15 Jul 14

Prisoner Cell Block A says...

Plastic Bantam wrote:
dannbradfc wrote:
It'll be interesting to see if we go with a diamond and two up top or player in the 'hole'. Not a fan of the latter at all as i feel it can leave the forward isolated. Plus we have maclean and Hanson so does one give way? Guess it also depends on whether we get decent wingers in. My hope is that its two up top as the main plan but obviously adapting to the situation......
Disagree... Two up top and 2 solid banks of four was too easily found out last season.. The midfield was left isolated and hardly contributed.. The wingers were doubled up and it just lead to the long diagonal ball from McArdle to Hanson. quick passing and through balls to the forwards seems to be a lot more effective in this league... I really hope Hanson can adapt to this new style of play. Not only because we have given him a fat new 4 year deal. But also I like the lad and want him to become a better player for us!!
It worked well enough for a season and a half whilst Nahki was with us and able to capitalise. We struggled when he was out of the side and after he left. As we haven't replaced like for like we now have to adapt to suit what we have and the evidence is there with the diamond being used and what appears to be an abundance of CMs.
[quote][p][bold]Plastic Bantam[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dannbradfc[/bold] wrote: It'll be interesting to see if we go with a diamond and two up top or player in the 'hole'. Not a fan of the latter at all as i feel it can leave the forward isolated. Plus we have maclean and Hanson so does one give way? Guess it also depends on whether we get decent wingers in. My hope is that its two up top as the main plan but obviously adapting to the situation......[/p][/quote]Disagree... Two up top and 2 solid banks of four was too easily found out last season.. The midfield was left isolated and hardly contributed.. The wingers were doubled up and it just lead to the long diagonal ball from McArdle to Hanson. quick passing and through balls to the forwards seems to be a lot more effective in this league... I really hope Hanson can adapt to this new style of play. Not only because we have given him a fat new 4 year deal. But also I like the lad and want him to become a better player for us!![/p][/quote]It worked well enough for a season and a half whilst Nahki was with us and able to capitalise. We struggled when he was out of the side and after he left. As we haven't replaced like for like we now have to adapt to suit what we have and the evidence is there with the diamond being used and what appears to be an abundance of CMs. Prisoner Cell Block A
  • Score: -1

7:47pm Tue 15 Jul 14

Victor Clayton says...

Imo, if jh can improve his hold up play, and I can't think of any reason why he couldn't, he will have cracked it.
Imo, if jh can improve his hold up play, and I can't think of any reason why he couldn't, he will have cracked it. Victor Clayton
  • Score: 2

7:56pm Tue 15 Jul 14

i miss stallard & murray says...

Michael Clayton wrote:
Peter300 wrote:
dannbradfc wrote:
It'll be interesting to see if we go with a diamond and two up top or player in the 'hole'. Not a fan of the latter at all as i feel it can leave the forward isolated. Plus we have maclean and Hanson so does one give way? Guess it also depends on whether we get decent wingers in. My hope is that its two up top as the main plan but obviously adapting to the situation......
For the past three seasons the persisent critiics of Phil Parkinson have always accused him of being negative and one dimensional and unable to change the system City play. This has never been true. It is actually these same critics who are the heads in the sand faction, because as soon as the manager hints at playing one up front, they continue complaining. Yet just about every manager in the league players selects just one striker for certain games - and often home games. For the majority of games last season Parkinson played with four attacking players. Two forwards and two wingers. That is not a defensive or negative line-up. I said last season that if so-called 'creative' midfielders are introduced, then two out-and-out wingers will no longer be selected. So just wait now for the usual tactically inept suspects on here to start whining about lack of wingers and being negative.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to satisfy all of the people all of the time. There is nothing wrong with a long-range 'pass' on to the head if used effectively. Equally, playing the ball through midfield can be the key to unlocking the defence. Personally, I think that a mixture of the two is the ideal scenario but how you achieve it is another question.
If we get two explosive wingers in we will have some great options to adapt to the game and have options within the starting 11 and on the bench to tactically outwit the opposition. We were very one dimensional last season and to progress and improve in this league we need options. Long ball shud b plan c if under pressure and it will get us some points wen needed. We were easy to play against especially at home wen we had 442 n direct ball and were losing. Many teams had more possession at VP and frustrated us and wen chasing games and we turned possession over too cheaply n we needed other options to break teams down. I feel the squad will be able to play either 442 diamond 442, 451 or 433.
I think the changes show progression aiming to improve. I think the squad that is being assembled plus two wingers will give parky the platform to highlight his tactical knowledge and ability. Not sure ppl av criticised but have raised concerns (it is all guess work at the mo inc my post)and I hope Hanson delivers either as a sole number 9 or as strike partnership, let's mix it up tho he has gd hold up play and has far more to offer than just flicking the ball on.
[quote][p][bold]Michael Clayton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Peter300[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dannbradfc[/bold] wrote: It'll be interesting to see if we go with a diamond and two up top or player in the 'hole'. Not a fan of the latter at all as i feel it can leave the forward isolated. Plus we have maclean and Hanson so does one give way? Guess it also depends on whether we get decent wingers in. My hope is that its two up top as the main plan but obviously adapting to the situation......[/p][/quote]For the past three seasons the persisent critiics of Phil Parkinson have always accused him of being negative and one dimensional and unable to change the system City play. This has never been true. It is actually these same critics who are the heads in the sand faction, because as soon as the manager hints at playing one up front, they continue complaining. Yet just about every manager in the league players selects just one striker for certain games - and often home games. For the majority of games last season Parkinson played with four attacking players. Two forwards and two wingers. That is not a defensive or negative line-up. I said last season that if so-called 'creative' midfielders are introduced, then two out-and-out wingers will no longer be selected. So just wait now for the usual tactically inept suspects on here to start whining about lack of wingers and being negative.[/p][/quote]Unfortunately, it is impossible to satisfy all of the people all of the time. There is nothing wrong with a long-range 'pass' on to the head if used effectively. Equally, playing the ball through midfield can be the key to unlocking the defence. Personally, I think that a mixture of the two is the ideal scenario but how you achieve it is another question.[/p][/quote]If we get two explosive wingers in we will have some great options to adapt to the game and have options within the starting 11 and on the bench to tactically outwit the opposition. We were very one dimensional last season and to progress and improve in this league we need options. Long ball shud b plan c if under pressure and it will get us some points wen needed. We were easy to play against especially at home wen we had 442 n direct ball and were losing. Many teams had more possession at VP and frustrated us and wen chasing games and we turned possession over too cheaply n we needed other options to break teams down. I feel the squad will be able to play either 442 diamond 442, 451 or 433. I think the changes show progression aiming to improve. I think the squad that is being assembled plus two wingers will give parky the platform to highlight his tactical knowledge and ability. Not sure ppl av criticised but have raised concerns (it is all guess work at the mo inc my post)and I hope Hanson delivers either as a sole number 9 or as strike partnership, let's mix it up tho he has gd hold up play and has far more to offer than just flicking the ball on. i miss stallard & murray
  • Score: 1

12:58pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Michael Clayton says...

ever the optimist wrote:
My god I would hate to play FIFA with you lot ;-)
A very accurate and amusing observation. No such problems if you were playing Football Manager (1982).
[quote][p][bold]ever the optimist[/bold] wrote: My god I would hate to play FIFA with you lot ;-)[/p][/quote]A very accurate and amusing observation. No such problems if you were playing Football Manager (1982). Michael Clayton
  • Score: 0
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