Hopkin enjoying life at Bantams despite struggles

By

Mark Stanford

Sports Reporter

David Hopkin says he is loving being back at Bradford City. Picture: Thomas Gadd

David Hopkin says he is loving being back at Bradford City. Picture: Thomas Gadd

DAVID Hopkin says he is still relishing the challenge of trying to turn City’s fortunes round.

The Bantams head coach made his return to the club in September after taking over from Michael Collins and, despite his injury-hit side’s poor run of form, he remains up for the fight.

Rock-bottom City – who received another blow yesterday with news that Sean Scannell will be out for at least three months – have won only one of Hopkin’s 13 games in charge so far.

That was a 1-0 success at AFC Wimbledon last month, but the boss hopes victory at Aldershot Town in the FA Cup first round today can be a turning point for their whole season.

The 48-year-old, who made 11 appearances as a player for the club in 2000-01, said he has had to learn on the job as he did not have the benefit of a full pre-season with the players.

There was speculation that Hopkin might step down when he didn’t speak to any media or the club website after the recent 4-0 defeat at Gillingham.

But he apologised for his no-show and City turned in a much better display against leaders Portsmouth last week.

Hopkin said: “I have enjoyed every minute so far.

“When I first came here it was like doing a pre-season in front of 18,000 people. This meant I had to do my work in public. I did not have a pre-season to prepare.

“The players are getting fitter and stronger and that is testament to them.

“We are trying to work them harder and make them last 90 minutes. When I first came in, they were getting to 65 minutes and then running out of steam.

“We are getting there, creating chances. The players have been fantastic. They have taken on board in training what we are trying to do.

“We need to start winning games and getting away from the bottom of the league. The players and the fans deserve it. The players are working really hard.”

Meanwhile, Hopkin says he has been in communication with Julian Rhodes after the former joint-chairman returned to the club earlier this week in a consultancy capacity.

Hopkin said: “Julian has come in and we have had a number of conversations over the phone and I have found him to be fantastic.

“Hopefully his experience can help move us away from the position of where we are. It is a positive move for the club to bring him in.”

The City head coach also said one or two of the five trialists who have been training with the club this week, including former Blackburn Rovers and Birmingham City defender Paul Caddis, will return to training next week as Hopkin continues to take a look at them.

He said: “One or two of them will come back next week. We are running the rule over them.

“We are always looking at improving the squad. All avenues are being explored to do that.”