Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Bradford City's shooting stars strike fear into opposition
Teams now dread tackling City in penalty shoot-outs, according to Jon McLaughlin.
The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win at Hartlepool was the sixth time in a row they have come out on top when it goes to spot-kicks.
City’s amazing run – all in the JPT – stretches back to Stuart McCall’s reign three years ago. Hartlepool fluffed three of their penalties on Tuesday night and keeper McLaughlin believes they have got into opponents’ heads.
He said: “We always seem to have lads who are confident to step up and take them. We have that knack of staying cool and calm under pressure and coming through.
“Teams will start looking at us now and thinking ‘these won’t be easy when we come to penalty shoot-outs’. That will increase the nerves in their camp.
“We’ve got that run going where we feel there’s nothing to lose. Once again, we came to a team from the division above and put them away.”
Before Tuesday, McLaughlin’s only previous shoot-out with City was last season’s third-round win at Sheffield United.
Having played his part in reaching the same stage of the competition with the crucial save from Hartlepool’s Evan Horwood, McLaughlin admitted he had not expected to be involved.
But Phil Parkinson kept him in to meet the JPT criteria of playing six starters from the previous game – a rule that has been tightened up since City were fined £5,000 for fielding a weakened team at Doncaster five years ago.
McLaughlin added: “It was down for Dukey (Matt Duke) to play. But because of the laws they’ve got in place now, which came about because of us in the first place a few years ago with Stuart, they are pretty tight on us with things like that.
“We had a lot of genuine injury concerns, which makes it difficult for the gaffer to put out six lads who played on Saturday. There wasn’t any leeway but we came through really well.
“Fair play to Dukey, he was still great with me and helped me get my head round it really quick.”
Parkinson is not expecting to add a loan player in time for the Valley Parade derby with York. He ruled out a possible target that he watched in a reserve game on Monday.
The City chief said: “He didn’t look up to speed in terms of match fitness. We’re still looking but I don’t want to bring someone in for a month who’ll spend two weeks getting fit.
“We’ve got good players in the squad who haven’t played and deserve a chance.
“Everybody wants to be in the first team all the time. Performance will dictate whether you’re in it or not and you’ve got to do your talking out on the pitch.
“The Hartlepool game was a good chance for the lads who had played Saturday and been in good form before to get back to that. For those coming in, it was their chance to stake a claim.
“I felt there were people out there who did themselves a lot of good.”