This weekend saw Bradford fall to a heavy defeat at out of form Mansfield Town. To the surprise of many in the home stands, Bantams supporters could be heard calling for the head of manager Gary Bowyer.
This is modern football and shouldn’t surprise anyone, but Bradford are currently sitting in the play-off places and have been on a run of just two defeats in their last 12 matches in League Two.
Although recent results have been disappointing – two defeats and three draws in the last five – Bowyer deserves to be given more time than some Bradford fans would currently want to afford him.
Here are four reason why the Yorkshire club should stick with their boss...
Injuries are no excuse but…
Not many sides in the fourth tier have had to deal with the number of injuries Bradford have had this season. It is always hard to use this as an excuse for poor results, and to be fair to Bowyer he hasn’t really done so, but when key individuals are missing, they can’t simply be replaced as they often can in the Premier League.
Clayton Donaldson has been the most impactful of those players to miss several games. The big striker injured his toe and required surgery and is only now working his way back into the first team.
They have also missed Matt Palmer, Jamie Devitt, Harry Pritchard, Zeli Ismail, Shay McCarten, Jake Reeves and, more recently, Richard O’Donnell for not insignificant amounts of time during the campaign.
Now Donaldson is back and Vaughan will also be available again following a two-match suspension, Bradford should see their attacking output heading back in a more positive direction.
Gary Bowyer has come under pressure from some sections of the Bradford support
Been there, done that
Gary Bowyer is a highly respected manager who has had success at this level before.
He led Blackpool to promotion in 2017 and that wasn’t Blackpool FC as they are today, that was the Tangerines under Oyston ownership, which would have been like tasting success with the Bantams under Edin Rahic…almost impossible.
Even in that campaign with Blackpool, Bowyer’s side went on a sticky run in January and February, winning just once in eleven league games, but he still turned them around to finish strongly.
He still has the dressing room
There can be no question about whether the players are still behind their manager.
Anyone who saw their fighting performance at Colchester, a side on a 14-game unbeaten run, can’t possibly believe this is a group of players not playing for Bowyer.
Yes, the Mansfield game was a poor performance, but in League Two, as we saw several times last season, freak results (Mansfield do have a great squad and a League One budget btw) can happen from time to time.
Three of Bradford’s next four games are at home where they have been very strong. In fact, only table topping Swindon have won more points on their own turf than Bradford this season, so things can change very quickly.
Who would do better?
After last season Bradford needed some time to sort themselves out. The other three sides that joined them in relegation from League One have all had to toil at times during the current campaign and Bradford fans should be mindful of that.
Gary Bowyer has done a decent job of rebuilding the squad and they are still very much in the promotion mix with 17 games left to play.
A week is a long time in football and this season has 13 more to go, so for a side sitting only four points from an automatic promotion spot, getting rid of the manager now would be crazy.