Monday nights entertaining, *televised* game against MK Dons was a performance of absolute steel, dominated by the excellent partnership of Stead and Hanson who could have well shared an M&S “Two Can Dine for £20” meal last evening, toasting to positive things for the rest of the season.
The games come thick and fast at this time of year and over the past 2 weeks the pitch has finally had chance (with the additional aid of the ground staff obviously ;)!) to regenerate and breathe with the lack of rain clouds that had seemed to be hovering over BD8 for the majority of the Christmas period.
Of course for many, the 14th of February is very special and Valentine’s Day can be a wonderful loving celebration for your wife or partner in crime, there will have been a handful of ladies and gents packed into Bar Fusion in Guiseley and for the latter who couldn’t even pull a cracker it’s a romantic evening alone with a hot bath, a bottle of “Sleep Easy” Radox and a soothing selection of Enya classics.
After seeing Jon Stead and James Hanson absolutely terrorise the Chelsea defence a few weeks ago it’s going to be interesting to see how a different Premier League opposition deals with the skills, power and the added pace that has come with match fitness in recent games.
Stead has scored in every round of the FA Cup so far and is a single goal away from his milestone 100 career goals, some would say it’s written in the stars that he would score against his former club this weekend, but vitally it’s his work rate and performance when he doesn’t have the ball that is gaining further admiration by the Bradford City faithful. Hanson on the other hand has slowly picked up on crucial match fitness, he’s no longer playing with the back crunching pressure of scoring all the goals which has been eased by the rest of the squad chipping in alongside the evident team spirit that is bundled up within the City dressing room.
From a Sunderland point of view, Gus Poyet has already played his “excuse card” in advance of the tie, it’s not exactly the best mentality to have before a big job in hand which is why Gus could be a perfect candidate at a call centre pretending to be an Indian gentleman because he couldn’t be arsed to help you with your problem.
Jokes aside, Sunderland will be backed by a strong following with the entire Midland Road stand occupied by their “Black Cat Army”, Fil Morais will relish the chance down that wing with the motivational abuse he will endure throughout the game, Sunday’s battle is all about who can cope with the conditions, it’s even for both teams – one set of fans will go home disappointed and upset and no matter what the result ends up I think I would take a draw and a replay right now (I’m thinking with my cash hat on), for me the league is still the most important competition and this FA Cup run is merely a momentum buffer carrying raw passion from the club, the team and to the fans.
It could and should be a classic, it may be scrappy and there’s a handful of questions that need answers!
– Will the Bantams Banter good luck charm continue?
– Will there be a touchline bust up? (most definitely)
– Will Tom Fletcher pass the Cadburys Crème Egg challenge?
– Will the world be talking about a magnificent City win after the game?