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Match Previews

Match Preview: Bradford City vs Swindon Town

A trip to Bradford up next in the league

6 October 2023

Match Previews

Match Preview: Bradford City vs Swindon Town

A trip to Bradford up next in the league

6 October 2023

Town will be looking to bounce back from Tuesday's defeat, with a journey to Bradford awaiting Swindon this weekend in their latest league test.

Bradford have had a tricky start to their league campaign, shown by the recent departure of previous manager Mark Hughes earlier this week, leaving former full-time midfielder Kevin McDonald to take temporary charge of the Bantams for the time being.

A form record of three wins, four draws and four losses in their first 11 games sees Bradford occupy the 18th position in League Two currently, with their most recent result (and Hughes' last game in charge), being a disappointing 2-1 defeat to 22nd place Tranmere last Tuesday.

A lowdown on the visitors

The club was founded in 1903 and immediately elected into the Football League Second Division. Promotion to the top tier followed as they won the 1907–08 Second Division title and then they went on to win the 1911 FA Cup final, which remains the club's only major honour. They were relegated in 1922 and again in 1927, before winning the Third Division North title in 1928–29. Another relegation in 1937 did allow the club to go on to win the Third Division North Cup in 1939, however a further relegation followed in 1962 to leave the club in the newly created Fourth Division. They secured promotions back into the third tier in 1969 and 1977 but were relegated in 1972 and 1978. They found success in the 1980s under the stewardship of first Roy McFarland and then Trevor Cherry, winning promotion in 1981–82 and following this up with the Third Division title in 1984–85, though they were relegated out of the Second Division in 1990.

Bradford were promoted back into the second tier via the play-offs in 1996, before securing another promotion in 1998–99 to reach the Premier League, marking a return to the top-flight after a 77-year absence. They entered Europe and reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2000–01 but ended the campaign with relegation from the Premier League. A succession of financial crises followed as the club entered administration twice in two years and further relegations followed in 2004 and 2007 to leave the club back in the fourth tier. They found success under the management of Phil Parkinson by reaching the 2013 League Cup final and then going on to win that year's League Two play-off final but were relegated from League One in 2019.

The club's home ground is the 25,136-capacity Valley Parade, which was the site of the Bradford City stadium fire on 11 May 1985, which took the lives of 56 supporters. They are the only professional football club in England to wear claret and amber and have worn these colours throughout their history. They have though been known by various nicknames, with the "Bantams" being the most commonly used nickname as it appears on the current club crest. Supporters hold West Yorkshire derby rivalries with Huddersfield Town and Leeds United, as well as a historic Bradford derby rivalry with the now non-league side Bradford (Park Avenue).

Last time out

This fixture has been one that throughout the years, has been fairly even, making this weekend's contest an exciting one to see who will take the bragging rights this time around.

17 wins for Town, 14 draws and 13 Bradford victories mean Swindon have the advantage and will be hoping to further this on Saturday.


19/20: Bradford City 2-1 Swindon Town

19/20: Swindon Town 1-1 Bradford City

20/21: Swindon Town 1-3 Bradford City

21/22: Bradford City 1-2 Swindon Town

22/23: Bradford City 1-1 Swindon Town

22/23: Swindon Town 1-0 Bradford City

The manager: Kevin McDonald

As previously mentioned, this weekend's game will be former Wolves and Fulham midfielder Kevin McDonald's first game in management following the departure of ex-Bantams boss Mark Hughes earlier this week.

The former Scotland international arrived at the University of Bradford Stadium in the summer of 2025, following the expiry of his short-term contract at Exeter City.

After signing with the Grecians in January, McDonald scored three goals in 11 Sky Bet League One appearances, in the second half of the 2022/23 campaign.

Beginning his career with Scottish side Dundee, McDonald signed for Burnley in 2008, helping the Clarets gain promotion to the Premier League that season.

A two-year spell in League One with Sheffield United followed, before a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers where he was part of a side which set a new League One points record of 103, in 2013/14.

He then made 128 appearances across the Premier League and Championship with Fulham, before spells at Dundee United and Exeter. 

Having worked as Assistant Manager under Hughes and also been with the club since June earlier this season, temporary boss McDonald will be looking to turn Bradford's fortunes around this weekend.

One to watch: Andy Cook

A proven goalscorer across the National League and League Two, 32-year-old Andy Cook will be looking to add to his five goals and one assist in eight games to start the 23/24 season. Having initially joined the Bantams on a loan from Mansfield, (where he scored eight in 21 games, Cook will be looking to add to his currently impressive goalscoring tally for Bradford and in previous clubs, to lift his side up the table.

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