Read the manager's programme notes for the Bradford City game
After recent results we get the chance to get back to winning ways today against a Bradford side who have started the season pretty well. I think most Bradford fans will have been delighted with their start and I am pleased to see an old friend doing well there. Their manager Phil Parkinson is someone I have known for over 30 years, ever since I first moved to digs in Southampton as a young footballer, and I am pleased to see him doing well, ably assisted by the vastly experienced Steve Parkin. I enjoyed my time as a player at Bradford and it's nice to see a big club such as them, with the big expectations that their supporters have, doing well.
It sets today's game up nicely because one thing is certain, they won't come and put eleven men behind the ball, they will be going for the win and that should hopefully make for an open attacking game.
There is no hiding away from the fact that we need a win ourselves, but I thought there were some encouraging signs at Cheltenham on Tuesday. The result hurt, I never like losing football matches, but I thought we got our foot in, made our challenges and made contact with the game throughout. I thought the effort and hunger were there, in contrast to Burton last Saturday where we let our standards drop.
I think the world of our supporters and I believe they know when the performances are acceptable and unacceptable. You were magnificent at Cheltenham and drove us forward in search of an equaliser, and I'm only sorry that we couldn't get something out of the game. We certainly did enough and there were encouraging signs, with Lee Cox and Peter Leven both coming back being a big boost. Unfortunately Jon-Paul Pittman did his hamstring after starting the game very brightly, with Jake Forster-Caskey already out with a virus, but that seems to be the way things have gone for us this season and we just have to get on with it.
You are looking at small margins and I firmly believe that we are not too far off. The honesty in this set of players is something I think you can see from the stands and we all want to do well and give you something to cheer about. A win today would leave us just one point behind our visitors who are fifth in the table as I write. It would also give us 12 points from the opening eight games. An average of 1.5 points per game is not bad at this stage of the season and gives you a solid platform to build from.
We will persevere with our beliefs in how we do things, how we approach games and how we try and play football, and with your fantastic backing once again let's work hard together and get the wins coming again.