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James Hanson keeping fellow Bradford City strikers on their toes
James Hanson is ready to keep turning up the pre-season heat on his attacking rivals.
Hanson has roared into City’s warm-up campaign by netting three goals in the opening two games, including a double at Wexford Youths on Tuesday.
The big targetman has delivered a powerful message to new signings Alan Connell and Garry Thompson and is eyeing more of the same when the Irish tour steps up a grade at Premier Division Bray Wanderers tomorrow.
Hanson finished top-scorer last term and is determined to carry on from where he left off.
“We’ve all worked very hard in pre-season and I probably feel fitter than I did last year,” he said.
“It was a massive pitch on Tuesday and all the lads were dreading going out there. But it was a really good work-out and we looked sharp.
“The fitness levels are really good – the new lads coming in are just as strong – and everything’s going well.
“We’ve got five or six at the club who can play up front now with Alan Connell coming in and Thommo also sees himself as a striker. I don’t know how the gaffer will keep everyone happy.
“But all you can do in pre-season is go out there and try to score goals and keep impressing.
“If you’re wearing the shirt and scoring goals, then hopefully you’ll keep your place.”
Hanson’s partnership with Ross Hannah has already produced six goals between them, even though they only played a half together at Tadcaster and an hour in midweek. Nahki Wells has also come on to score in both games.
“You can tell the confidence is high and I’m looking to carry that on and push the other strikers along,” said Hanson.
That self-belief was evident from his second goal against Wexford, a stunning drive into the top corner with his weaker right foot.
Hanson said: “I probably wouldn’t have tried that if I wasn’t feeling so good. But that’s what confidence does.
“That leg is usually my ‘swinger’ and all the lads were in shock in the dressing room afterwards.
“They’ve seen me in shooting practice in training and couldn’t believe that one flying in the top corner!
“But I scored a few like that in my non-league days and it would be nice to get some more now.”