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The lowdown on Bradford

Posted on 7 December 2000  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Bradford&rsquo&#59;s flirtation with the Premiership was not reckoned to be a long-term arrangement. Just a fling reasoned the experts (a prediction that cost Sky pundit Rodney Marsh his blond locks). Bradford were tipped in nearly all quarters to do &lsquo&#59;a Barnsley&rsquo&#59; &mdash&#59; play some good football, make a lot of friends and return to their Nationwide habitat. <P>It was not to be. Watford proved that the pundits do not always get it wrong, but the people of Bradford will be eternally grateful for the turbulence that hit the season of both Sheffield Wednesday and Wimbledon. The eventual demise of the Londoners was perhaps the biggest shock &mdash&#59; the Egil landed and the Don&rsquo&#59;s Premiership wings were well and truly clipped.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>Paul Jewell&rsquo&#59;s features visibly relaxed after his team held on for a 1-0 victory against Liverpool at Valley Parade on the final day of the season which ensured survival. In the build-up to the game the Scouser attempted to defuse the pressure on his team, but Bradford&rsquo&#59;s precarious position was obviously taking its toll on the young manager.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <IMG align=left src="../title_images/chris_hutchings.jpg"> <P>This was put forward as a theory by some for Jewell&rsquo&#59;s shock resignation during the summer. Could he cope with another season of torment like the last? If he was looking for an easier number, his not-totally-unexpected arrival at financially stricken Sheffield Wednesday did not appear to offer a solution.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>While Jewell presided over a revolving exit door at the relegated South Yorkshire club, his successor, former assistant Chris Hutchings, lifted the expectations of Bantams fans by shopping at the &lsquo&#59;posh&rsquo&#59; end of the transfer market. Fortnam and Mason&rsquo&#59;s rather than the Co-Op if you like.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>In came up-market boys such as Dan Petrescu, Ashley Ward and, rather surprisingly, Benito Carbone. If Bradford were going down this time they were going down in style.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>But ebullient chairman Geoffrey Richmond would never entertain such defeatist thinking and, when bad results started to mount up, another change at the top was imminent to protect his investment. Perennial manager&rsquo&#59;s weakness Stan Collymore was ushered in as a last throw of the goalscoring dice for Hutchings, but it was not enough to save his job.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <IMG align=right src="../title_images/jim_jefferies.jpg"> <P>Stuart McCall was put in charge for two games while former Hearts manager Jim Jefferies was lured south to revive the fortunes of the bottom placed club.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>So far so good for the new man, four points from two games is a solid return ahead of our visit this weekend. If Spurs are to secure that elusive away win they will have to improve on last season&rsquo&#59;s two-point share of the points over the two games.</SPAN> <P><I>By Richard Hubbard</I> <P><I><I></SPAN></I></I>