McCall: The big interview

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

Stuart McCall's arrival at Valley Parade in the summer as City's new manager was greeted euphorically by the vast majority of fans.

Promotion from the lowest division of the Football League was virtually guaranteed; McCall would soon sort things out on the pitch and back would come the fans in their thousands.

Supporters had reasonable grounds for associating the charismatic figure of McCall with success.

Two seasons after he signed for the club in 1982/83, the team stormed the old Third Division championship playing a brand of attacking football that few teams could repel.

His high energy style of play was indicative of a desire for success, a red-headed impatience with failure.

Sixteen seasons later - ten of them playing for Everton, Glasgow Rangers and Scotland - he returned to Valley Parade and captained the team to promotion and two seasons in the Premiership.

Generally regarded as Bradford City's greatest ever player (443 games and 52 goals), McCall stoked expectations by declaring that his goal was promotion at the end of the current season.

After 27 matches, with 19 still to play, City are three places and three points below mid-table.

Looking back to the summer, does he regret not sounding a more cautious note?

"I don't regret it because it's how I felt and how I feel because I am optimistic. You should always strive to be the best you can naturally be, if that means setting standards high. But I probably went along with the optimism, naïvely.

"I thought I would be able to get the people I wanted to get in. Looking back I should have realised I would be coming into the unknown. I think I am confident in my ability to lead other people but I probably got carried away. I think I got caught up in all the euphoria at the time, if I am being honest," he said.

  • Read the full interview in tomorrow's T&A, including McCall's dream to walk out in front of 25,000 fans at Valley Parade and his wish to bring the 'family club' feel back to Bradford.

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