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Last Updated: Monday, 2 August, 2004, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
Todd plans bright future
By Pete Scrivener

Bradford boss Colin Todd
New Bradford boss Colin Todd is quietly optimistic that he can resurrect City's fortunes in League One following a dismal Centenary last season.

Administration, relegation from Division One and the threat of closure gave little to be cheerful about.

But fans rallied round to raise enough funds to help keep the club afloat and now the Football League has given City the go-ahead to start the new season.

"It's a daunting challenge, but we can turn it around," Todd told BBC Sport.

The former Middlesbrough, Bolton and Derby boss took over the reins at Valley Parade in mid-June after spending half of last season as Bryan Robson's assistant.

And he insisted it was not a hard decision to make once he had spoken to Bradford's administrators and received assurances that City would be starting the season, but even then, there was trouble round the corner.

"About 10 days before pre-season was due to start, I was told I had a budget and that we would start the season and more than likely finish it," he explained.

We will be relying on the leadership of David Wetherall
Bradford boss Colin Todd
"So I started talking to the players I wanted to bring in, but then the alarm bells started ringing and we were 24 hours away from closing which put us on the back foot."

Todd immediately took his somewhat depleted squad training and was impressed with what he saw.

"Everyone showed a tremendous attitude and applied themselves well," he said.

"Throughout all of this, the team spirit has been great, not just the players, but everyone involved with the club - the comraderie has been fantastic."

Todd is well aware though that team spirit alone will not help Bradford through what is bound to be another difficult season.

"The key will be keeping everyone fit as we have such a small squad," he said.

"We will be relying on the leadership of David Wetherall at the back with (former Barnsley midfielder) Lee Crooks and Dean Windass playing major roles.

"But everyone is aware that fitness levels need to be higher than they were last season."

Todd has moved quickly to secure the services of several new players to bolster his squad.

We want to entertain the fans but it's vital we get off to a good start
Colin Todd
Former Wimbledon right-back Darren Holloway and Crooks, both 26, join the squad while Everton duo Michael Symes and Steven Schumacher, both 20, have signed two-year deals.

"Schumacher has done remarkably well and Symes has formed a good partnership with Windass up front so we had to take them on.

"But there was a lot going on behind the scenes to bring them in and we have to thank (former City chief executive) Julian Rhodes who made it possible," Todd added.

Australian Paul Henderson looks to have solved City's goalkeeping crisis by signing and may start in the season opener at Hartlepool as Jamaican international Donovan Ricketts, who is on a year-long loan from Bolton, is still waiting for his work permit.

Many City fans will be happy just to avoid relegation this season but Todd refuses to be drawn on his targets for the season.

"We all know it's going to be difficult, but we have to make it difficult for other teams too - we have to stick together and show determination.

"We want to entertain the fans but it's vital we get off to a good start and get on a good roll.

"It's great to have all the derby games and the most important one is the first one - we have to win that to set ourselves up for the rest.

"The fans can play their part, but if we show enough desire and skill on the pitch I am sure that will mean a lot to them."

For Bradford fans though, just having a team to support means more than anything right now.





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