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Season 2017-18
Bradford City (a)


Wednesday 26th July 2017, 7.30pm

 Valley Parade

Conditions: warm and sunny

Admission: £10 adults 



Bradford City

Newcastle United

0 - 4




Half time: Bantams 0 Magpies 0

50 mins Mo Diame released Christian Atsu down the left and his low centre was turned home at the front post by Dwight Gayle, just crossing the line despite the efforts of the goalkeeper. 1-0

51 mins From United's next attack Jacob Murphy strode through and stuck the ball past the advancing 'keeper after some nifty footwork (although he later admitted to a stroke of luck when the ball unintentionally clipped off his heel to set up him to shoot) 2-0

76 mins Rolando Aarons evaded the attentions of a defender to run into space on the left side of the box, and his low cross allowed Aleksandar Mitrovic to shoot home from close range in front of the unused away stand 3-0

79 mins Another ball in from Aarons was teed up by Jacob Murphy and then volleyed home from 12 yards to round off the scoring. 4-0

Full time: Bantams 0 Magpies 4

We Said


Rafa Benitez said:

"It was good. We created some good situations and also defended quite well. It was what we were trying to do, although there are still things we are trying to improve. 

"But at least you could see a team that were trying to do the movements that we were practising in the training sessions.

"Every manager wants to sign more players and that is especially important when you are promoted from the Championship to the Premier League.

"It's maybe not the same when you're already in the Premier League and you need three or four maximum. 

"When you are changing division, it's more difficult and you have to bring more players.

"But we have a problem, which is obvious, which is we already have too many players. We have to move players out if we want to move players in. 

"That's something we have to manage between now and the end of the window."

Speaking about Borussia Dortmund's Spanish U21 midfielder Mekil Merino, who was spotted on Tyneside having a medical earlier in the day, he said:

"It's not quite done yet, but we're working to try and finalise everything. Iím quite confident that we'll do it. Hopefully, it will get done and we will have a player with quality, who can help us in the middle of the park."

They Said

Stuart McCall said: 

"It's a difficult watch for the punters because they want to see us attacking and going forward. The realisation is when you know what you're up against and the quality.

"They had strength and pace all over the park and you saw Jonjo Shelvey's passing ability.

"We were absolutely delighted with the work ethic of the boys in the first half but we were always going to tire. They brought a lot of fresh legs on and we've got a few injuries at the minute.

"We knew it was a massive step up, even from Saturday against Sunderland. 

"It's not enjoyable when you're on the other end of it. I've played in games when you've not had a kick of the ball and it's really tough.

"The lads certainly got a really hard session from this game. We have GPS now for the lads so we can check the figures, but I'm sure they will have put a lot into this match.

"We will naturally look at the goals and what we could have done better, but I'm not going to judge people.

"There will be no doom and gloom about this result. Newcastle's quality and the strength of their squad was there for all to see.

"It was a great effort from the players to get us to the break without conceding. They have defended really well against some top opposition.

"It was hard for the lads when they've given everything in the first period but then they
(Newcastle) bring more quality, fresh legs, off the bench.

"We've set up in a formation tonight which we will never normally do at home, but we had to be realistic with the players we had unavailable and the quality we were up against.

"We had Shay McCartan on the left and Alex Jones up front on his own - two positions not really natural to them but we had to go with that shape. It was tough for them and the likes of Gilly
(Alex Gilliead) because we knew we wouldn't see much of the ball tonight in an attacking area.

"This game is over now - we will move on in a fresh, positive mood and our aim now is to put in a really strong display against Halifax on Saturday. We will work positively between now and Saturday, and then moving onto Blackpool the week after.

"It will definitely be a different mind-set against Blackpool - we won't be using the defensive set-up we did tonight."



It's of absolutely no consequence (as are most/all of our stats entries....) but this victory was our largest over Football League opposition in a friendly since a 5-1 win at Hartlepool in August 2012. And if nothing else it was an improvement on the pathetic 1-2 loss at York City in July 2015.....

This was our first visit here since a 2-2 draw in the Premier League in March 2001 - when goals from Carl Cort and Clarence Acuna cancelled out home efforts in the opening ten minutes of play.

In terms of friendl
ies, Valley Parade was also part of our
preparations in July 1997, 8,470 here to see a 3-0 victory thanks to first half goals from Peter Beardsley, Tino Asprilla and Steve Watson.

Valley Parade - post-war visits:

won 4-0 Gayle, Murphy 2, Mitrovic FR
2000/01 drew 2-2 Cort, Acuna PL
1999/00 lost 0-2 PL
1997/98 won 3-2 Beardsley, Asprilla, Watson FR 
1989/90 lost 2-3 McGhee, OG D2
1987/88 lost 1-2 Scott FMC
won 1-0 Waddle LC
1976/77 won 4-3 Burns 2, Callachan, Barrowclough FR
won 6-1 McGarry 2, Hughes 2, Thomas, Hilley FA

(Due to the Bradford fire disaster, our League Cup fixture in 1986/87 was played at Odsal Stadium. City were 2-0 winners).

Pre-season pitch time:

Aarons 45+45+29=119
Armstrong 28+0+0=28
Atsu 45+45+61=151
Clark 45+45+77=167
Colback 28+45+13=86
Darlow 0+24+0=24
De Jong 75+62+29=166
Diame 62+45+45=152
Dummett 45+45+61=151

Elliot 63+45+61=169
Gamez 45
Gayle 45+45
Haidara 62+0+0=62
Hanley 28+45+0=73
Hayden 0+45+77=122
Lascelles 45+0+0=45
Lazaar 15+0+0=15
Lejeune 45+76+61=182
Manquillo 0+14+45=59
Mbemba 62+90+29=181
Mitrovic 45+45
Murphy 0+45+45=90
Perez 45+45
Ritchie 0+0+45=45
Roberts 0+28+0=28
Saivet 45+0+13=58
Shelvey 45+45
Woodman 27+20+29=76
Yedlin 0+45+45=90


Newcastle reached the halfway point in their six game warm-up schedule on Wednesday evening, scoring four second half goals without reply in a one-sided contest at Valley Parade

The Bantams were unbeaten at home in League One last season and defended in depth to keep United for the first 45 minutes before succumbing to the inevitable defeat.

After Dwight Gayle edged his side ahead with a third pre-season goal, new boy Jacob Murphy bagged a brace either side of one from Aleksandar Mitrovic.

All 22 players who travelled were used, Karl Darlow, Grant Hanley and Callum Roberts dropping down from the squad that drew 1-1 at Preston in favour of Matt Ritchie, Jesus Gamez and Henri Saivet.

Making his first appearance since a hernia operation in May, Ritchie got into his stride quickly and both he and Jonjo Shelvey tested City's 'keeper early on while Gayle dragged an effort wide.

Shelvey looked to have given his side a 23rd minute lead after an ambitious run took him to the byline before hammering the ball in from a narrow angle. However it was ruled out for a handball. 

Ritchie and DeAndre Yedlin then combined well down the right and the Scottish international skimmed the bar with his 27th minute effort after scampering down the flank.

Two minutes before half-time the opener looked set to arrive when a perfect through ball from Shelvey set Christian Atsu away on goal - only to miskick totally.

Javier Manquillo made his second appearance for the club after the break - this time at right back - while Murphy and Mo Diame were also introduced. Henri Saivet later arrived in the unusual role of centre back, partnering Chancel Mbemba.

Gayle broke the deadlock on 50 minutes, nudging Atsu's low centre from the left over the line, with the linesman confirming it was in. And barely a minute later, Murphy doubled the lead when he strode through and stuck the ball past the advancing 'keeper after some nifty footwork.

With United powering forward, Gayle then just failed to connect in front of goal as he charged to meet an Atsu centre on 58 minutes.

Rolando Aarons crossed from the left for Mitrovic to knock home the third in the 76th minute and three minutes later Murphy got his second with a 12-yard volley after taking a touch from another Aarons cross.

Murphy then had the opportunity to claim his hat-trick following a flowing forward move from United, but unselfishly opted to release Mitrovic, whose shot was blocked by a recovering defender.

There was a late flare-up between Aarons and City's Tony McMahon, with both yellow-carded although the home player seemed to be the guilty party.

Having been voted Bantams man of the match, McMahon tried his luck from distance but failed to beat Freddie Woodman - who tipped over the shot before fisting the resultant corner clear.

City included on-loan Newcastle reserve Alex Gilliead down the right but like most of his colleagues, opportunities to impress were in short supply - keeping the scoreline down a more pressing task.

A night of positives then, with the intensity of Ritchie pleasing to see and a confidence boosting brace for Murphy. And at this early stage, the comfort that Lejeune seems to enjoy in possession is encouraging - along with his ability to unceremoniously clear his lines when required.

What is open to considerable question though is to whether we are genuinely improving the squad ahead of our top-flight return, or just changing some of the names for a comparatively low outlay. 

A collective term for the quartet of new faces could well be punts, with little or nothing in the way of proven quality and expertise. Benitez may well be able to maximise the potential of our recruits, but it remains to be seen whether that's enough to achieve any more than fourth bottom.  


Page last updated 28 July, 2017