JAMES Hanson winces at the mention of the word “legend”.
“That’s for players like Stuart McCall,” he said. “But it’s nice that people recognise what I have done for the club.”
Hanson’s goal at Rochdale was his fifth already in a blistering start to the season. It also took his total tally for City to 68 – and joint tenth in the all-time rankings with Bruce Bannister.
Leader Bobby Campbell may be in a league of his own on 143 but Hanson is now within striking distance of Dean Windass in third, who is currently 18 ahead.
No wonder the “L” word is starting to be bandied about for the local striker now in sixth season in the pro game.
Hanson admitted: “It feels strange when fans say things like that but I know I need to do more.
“I was aware of the goal thing and it’s a great achievement for me personally. It’s something to be proud of and I’ll aim for the top three now and catching Deano.
“But it’s more important that I kick on with Bradford this season and see what happens.”
Kicking on with his hometown club is the phrase that supporters want to hear. With Nahki Wells gone, Hanson has become City’s most saleable asset.
Millwall boss Ian Holloway had him short-listed at one stage in his summer search for a targetman but rumours of an on-going interest cooled last week when he brought in 6ft 4in Swede Mathias Ranegie from Watford.
Huddersfield, where Hanson was released as a youngster, have also been keeping tabs.
But it’s hardly surprising that Hanson’s form has put him on the radar. His record since Wells crossed the M62 is a mightily-impressive 11 goals from 19 starts.
Unfortunately, that spell was punctuated by the injury problems that saw him hardly feature in the final two months of last season.
With that sorted, Hanson sees no reason why he cannot maintain the run – and avoid another one of those scoring droughts that have punctuated his time at Valley Parade.
“It’s down to me to keep it going. I’m delighted with the way I’ve started but it’s my job now to keep chipping away with goals. That’s my aim. I don’t want to get stuck in any droughts.
“Every game is a challenge. There might be two or three men on you at times but I know I can improve.
“I’ve started where I left off before the injury and I just want to keep myself fit and stay in the side.
“That’s not easy because we’ve got some great players here now. The only way I can do that is by continuing my form at the moment and helping this team go forward.”
Hanson played a big part in City’s win at Rochdale with an assist for Jason Kennedy to go with his points-sealing header from a corner.
It was an impressive follow-up to the glory night against Leeds but he was not surprised that City proved capable of lifting themselves again so quickly.
Hanson said: “The gaffer had a meeting with us on Friday and stressed that we needed to keep the winning spirit going. With Rochdale coming so soon after such a massive night, it shows you the character and strong mentality we’ve got.
“That’s why I like working with the gaffer because he brings us all back down to earth. Nobody is getting carried away.
“We dug in and looked the stronger side in the second half. We overpowered them in the end with our fitness.
“It was a really tough effort against Leeds and we didn’t have too much time to recover. So to look that strong later in the game was a credit to everyone.”
I am (not a) Legend: On-song James Hanson proving top-ten hit for Bantams as he looks to rein in Dean Windass
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