CITY will be getting a proven winner when Derek Adams is unveiled at the Valley Parade helm.

The 45-year-old is set to be appointed after Morecambe announced that he had left – three days after steering the Lancashire minnows to a Wembley promotion.

Chris Errington, the long-serving reporter for the Plymouth Herald, knows Adams as well as anyone.

The Scot previously spent four seasons at Home Park and took Argyle to a play-off final, promotion and a seventh-placed finish in League One.

And Errington believes the move to City looks a very good one for both parties.

“If you were Bradford why wouldn’t you appoint Derek Adams as your new manager?” he said. “He’s got all the things you are looking for.

“He’s 45, still relatively young for a manager, and he’s got promotions on his CV at Ross County, Plymouth Argyle and now Morecambe.

“He’s got a proven track record, he’s ambitious and he will want more. He’s got a lot going for him.

“With the greatest respect to Morecambe, sometimes you have to take a step backwards to go two steps forward. That is what this feels like.

“It’s been an unbelievable achievement from Derek to first save Morecambe from relegation last season and then take them into League One. Nobody should underestimate that.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Derek Adams watches on during Morecambe's 2-0 win over City last monthDerek Adams watches on during Morecambe's 2-0 win over City last month

“But realistically, your football head tells you that is far as Morecambe can go.

“Yes, he’s going backwards with Bradford in league terms, but you can’t tell me that he or another proven manager can’t get them pretty quickly into the Championship if they get some momentum going.

“With the stadium, the fanbase, and Derek’s hunger – he will want to prove he can get another promotion and he’ll want to one day manage in the Championship.”

Errington admits Adams was a “bit of an unknown” when he succeeded John Sheridan at Plymouth in 2015. But the new boss had already proved very successful in Scotland.

“You see what he did first of all with Ross County, a small club up in the Scottish Highlands. He got them up to the Premiership and to a Scottish Cup final, beating Celtic along the way.

“They are still in the Scottish Premiership now after staying up this season. It was a while ago since Derek Adams left but he was the one who got them there for the first time.

“Any time you can lead a club of relatively small stature to a high level, you’ve got to take credit for that.

“Derek was a bit of an unknown quality when he came down here but he put his stamp on the club straight away.

“The players he brought in initially were ones he had worked with before. That seems to be a common theme with Morecambe – and you would expect the same to happen at Bradford.

“At Argyle, he brought in the likes of Graham Carey, who had previously played for him at Ross County, and was a fantastic signing. Jake Jervis was another and Yann Songo’o, who came in a little bit later.

“I think it’s a good sign if players are happy to re-sign with a manager they’ve worked with before.”

Adams generally played with a 4-2-3-1 formation with both Plymouth and Morecambe. But Errington insists his was never a straightjacket system – and still allowed the flair players to flourish.

“Although he may have a reputation for trying to be a little bit safe and sound, he found a way to get those free spirits with great technical ability into his team.

“During his time at Argyle he had players like Carey and Ruben Lameiras, who is now playing in Portugal’s top division for Vitoria Guimaraes.

“Carey, in my opinion, was one of the best players in Leagues One and Two in the last 10 years. He was an absolute treat to watch and his best football came under Derek Adams.

“It shows he can turn somebody who was a left-sided midfielder in a 4-4-2 throughout his career into a creative playmaker who could pop up anywhere.

“He has got that knack of being able to take players and improve them.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Derek Adams hugs Morecambe match-winner Carlos Mendes Gomes at WembleyDerek Adams hugs Morecambe match-winner Carlos Mendes Gomes at Wembley

Adams was sacked by Plymouth in April 2019 on their way to relegation. It was a bitter finish to what had, for the most part, been a real success story.

Errington said: “Derek was at Argyle for four years and for three and a half it went really well.

“They got to the play-off final the first season, playing very well in the semi-final against Portsmouth. But then the team didn’t show up against Wimbledon at Wembley.

“To Derek’s and the team’s credit, they came back and won promotion the following year as runners-up to Portsmouth, although they could and should have been champions but blew it on the last day.

“The third season was a really weird one. They started poorly in League One and then went on a tremendous run and ended up finishing seventh just outside the play-offs.

“But the next one was a real rollercoaster and it all unravelled really quickly.

“People will have various reasons as to why but results from the March onwards just fell off a cliff.

“It spiralled out of control until they lost 5-1 at Accrington in the penultimate game of the season.

“The Argyle fans had travelled up in good numbers and got soaked on the open terrace and they let Adams and the players know exactly what they thought.

“The club then decided to make the change. It was a really sad way for Derek’s reign to end because it had been so successful for so much of it.”

His reputation handsomely restored with Morecambe’s fairytale promotion, City will be getting someone dedicated to the cause. Adams is a football workaholic who won’t switch off.

Errington added: “Football is his life. He loves football and really puts everything into it.

“One of the things he was good at with Argyle was making himself feel part of the club.

“He didn’t waste much time in getting the fans on board and getting them to believe he was there for all the right reasons.

“I would expect him to do something similar at Bradford. He will be well aware of the club’s history and pedigree and what the club have been through in recent years.

“Argyle and Bradford have played each other quite a bit in the last few years as well as the games with Morecambe and he’ll have an insight into what’s gone on at the club.”