With the long-awaited return to The New Lawn just around the corner, Forest Green Rovers prepare to take on Bradford City in League Two tomorrow afternoon.
The sides met just once last season, as Joseph Mills’ stoppage time header sealed the points for Mark Coopers men at a sunny Valley Parade.
WHAT WE SAID:
“The more the boys play together, the more they get used to each other’s habits and patterns, and relationships form,” said Mark Cooper.
“People have said that our start to the season is difficult on paper, when you look at the size of Bolton Wanderers and Bradford City, they’re tough games.
“I think Bradford will play 3-5-2 like we did last weekend, and they’ve got some experienced players at the front of the pitch. We’ll need to be at the top of our game to win it.”
WHAT THEY SAID:
"It will be a difficult game,” said manager Stuart McCall.
"Forest Green have brought players in and we know what to expect, but it is about what we focus on.
"They started very well last season and ended up just slipping outside the play-offs."
Rovers are almost back to full strength, with Josh March working his way up to fitness, while Elliott Whitehouse remains suspended.
In the Bradford camp, only summer signing Levi Sutton is a confirmed absentee, serving the final game of his suspension which carries over from last season.
One member of the Bantams' squad is also unlikely to travel having suffered from illness.
KEY PLAYER: Lee Novak
Frontman Lee Novak joined the Bantams on an 18-month deal from Scunthorpe United on deadline day of the January 2020 transfer window.
Novak is an experienced striker and boasts over 350 career appearances in the EFL, representing the likes of Huddersfield Town, Birmingham City and Chesterfield.
The 31-year-old will be hoping to play a key part in Stuart McCall’s side and achieve success this season.
The two sides have met on just one occasion, Mark Cooper’s men taking all three points away in their first trip to Valley Parade last season.
LAST TIME WE MET:
Forest Green Rovers snatched all three points at the Utilita Energy Stadium as they beat Bradford City 1-0 back in August of last year.
It needed added time at the end of the second half, but a 93rd minute Joseph Mills header was the difference on day.
Despite clear chances at both ends of the pitch throughout, it was only with 93 minutes on the clock that the deadlock was finally broken, as Kevin Dawson's dinked cross was met by a powerful Joseph Mills header which flew past the keeper and into the net.
Rovers were then reduced to 10 men with minutes to go as Matt Mills was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
Late drama at Bradford saw the hosts have the ball in the net following a corner, but Kevin Melor's close-range finish was ruled out by the offside flag with 100 minutes played.
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Full commentary of Saturday’s match will also be available on BBC Radio Gloucestershire on 1413AM.
Stay up to date also on Twitter and Instagram by following @FGRFC_Official, which will have all of the team news before kick-off and updates throughout the game.
There will also be key updates and team news on Facebook. Round-up the clash by checking out the club website where there will be a full report looking back on the encounter.
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