We’re learning the hard way

Steve McNulty
Steve McNulty
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Steve McNulty knows Fleetwood Town could have left Bradford City with their first three-point haul in League Two, which makes the midweek defeat all the more disappointing for the skipper.

James Hanson’s header was enough to seal the points at Valley Parade but Town created numerous chances.

They are yet to find the net after three matches this season, including the Capital One Cup tie against Nottingham Forest, but captain McNulty said: “I don’t think Bradford caught us out on much.

“There was a bit of sloppy defending and I think Youl slipped. It’s always disappointing to get undone by a set-piece but we learn by our mistakes.”

A crowd of over 9,000 provided Bradford with tremendous support and certainly created a daunting atmosphere for the visitors.

But McNulty insisted the players weren’t rattled by the noise, which is something they will have to adjust to.

He said: “We’re going to go to a lot more grounds like this, where the crowd will get behind their team. I thought we held our own, and we weren’t fazed by the occasion or by the crowd.

“I think we created the more clear-cut chances, which we didn’t take, but we got sucker-punched.”

Town hit the woodwork twice as David’s Ball’s curler from Jon Parkin’s through-ball crashed against the bar in the first-half, then Andy Mangan headed Dean Howell’s pinpoint cross against a post in the second.

McNulty added: “Goals change games. If Bally had put us ahead it’s a totally different game and they would have had to come at us a bit more.

“They’re a very direct side and we didn’t get to grips with them sometimes, but we’re going to come across all different styles of play.”

Saturday’s hosts Burton Albion will offer another difficult test after they beat Wimbledon 6-2 at home. Town manager Micky Mellon remarked that those who thought there were no differences between League Two and the Conference were “kidding themselves”, and McNulty feels he is beginning to adapt to the demands of the Football League.

“We’ve had a good pre-season and we’re just getting used to it,” he said. “I’ve always played non-league, but I’m always up for a challenge and I’m looking forward to the season ahead.

“Hopefully if I keep playing well I’ll keep my place. We’ll take one game at a time, and we’ll be pushing for the play-offs if not automatic promotion.”

n Town’s latest signing Alex Marrow made his debut as an 82nd-minute substitute at Valley Parade.

The midfielder, on loan from Crystal Palace, was pleased to get his first opportunity in a Town shirt and said: “I was hoping to get on and it was good to get the last ten minutes.

“It was a nice pitch and a good place to play football. I enjoyed it. I think we were unlucky and there are a lot of positives to take out of it, especially with the two chances.

If the first one was an inch lower and had gone in, I think we would have won the game comfortably.

“I think their goal was just a slip from one of our lads, which happens in football, so we’ve just got to go again on Saturday and I’m sure we’ll pick up the three points.

“I want to play as many games as I can here and hopefully get into a starting team at Burton.”