Moment of truth for Bradford City defender McArdle’s cup final dream (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Moment of truth for Bradford City defender Rory McArdle’s cup final dream
Rory McArdle will find out this week if he has any chance of making Wembley.
City’s ultra-consistent defender was due to see the specialist yesterday to confirm the extent of his ankle injury.
As a fellow centre half, new boy Michael Nelson would stand to benefit from McArdle’s absence. But he would take no joy in taking his place in those circumstances – and hopes the Northern Ireland international can still be back for the big day.
“It’s one of those things that happens and that’s where the squad comes in,” said Nelson.
“You try to build a strong group of players with that depth so if you get injuries somebody can step in.
“But lads don’t really want to get into the team on the back of somebody getting injured. It’s not nice and you know it could just as easily happen to you.
“Nobody’s pleased about it or anything like that. Everybody’s hoping it’s just a case of a little bit of rest and getting Rory right.”
Phil Parkinson paired Nelson with McArdle for his debut at Fleetwood ten days ago but their partnership was cut short before half-time because of the injury.
Nelson said: “It didn’t look too bad when he did it and Rory managed to stay on for a little bit.
“But he said he could see the swelling coming through more and more. It was the right decision for him to come off.
“It’s been well documented how many games he’s played and how well he’s played in them. It’s a worrying time for him but hopefully it will be good news.”
City head for Wycombe tonight desperate to end a six-game run without a league win – a slump that has seen them slip away from the play-off places and down to mid-table.
With all thoughts dominated by Wembley, Nelson admits they have to quickly steady the ship in League Two.
He said: “The cup final is the biggest game in the club’s history and it’s going to be brilliant. But it will be a lot nicer if we can get promoted this season as well.
“Cup success is great but you earn your money week in, week out in the league. That’s still a massive aim for us and these two games coming up before the final are vitally important.”