Former Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer appointed new manager of Bradford City

Former Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer has been appointed manager of League One strugglers Bradford City on a deal until the end of the season.

Monday, 4th March 2019, 10:31 am
Updated Monday, 4th March 2019, 11:37 am
Blackpool will face Gary Bowyer at Valley Parade later this month

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Bowyer resigned as Pool boss just one game into the new season, two days after the 0-0 opening day draw at Wycombe Wanderers.

He left having guided the Seasiders back to League One at the first attempt, leading the club to play-off glory with a 2-1 win against Exeter City at Wembley.

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He then guided Pool to a 12th placed finish in League One last season, defying the bookies’ odds who had them down as relegation favourites.

After a seven-month absence, Bowyer now returns to management with a Bradford side that are six points adrift of safety in League One and are staring down the barrel of relegation to the fourth tier.

The Bantams, who were thrashed 5-1 by Portsmouth at the weekend, were left managerless after former boss David Hopkin handed in his resignation last week after less than six months in charge.

The Scot replaced Michael Collins in September but only won seven of his 35 matches.

Blackpool will face their former manager when they travel to Valley Parade on Saturday, March 23.

Bowyer's former assistant at Blackpool Andy Todd will be his number two.

“I am absolutely delighted to be here," Bowyer said. "This is a massive club and the opportunity to manage Bradford City doesn’t come along that often. It was one I had to take.

"I have been ready to get back into management for a while but it’s been about getting the right opportunity. This is a fantastic one for myself and for Andy (Todd).

“We are totally aware of the challenge that lies ahead but if I didn’t believe we couldn’t get out of this, I wouldn’t be here.

“That’s the most important thing. We have belief in the players and we are going to work very hard from now until the end of the season and concentrate on the games we have left.

“I remember coming here with Blackpool a couple of years back. It was the start of the season and the place was rocking.

“I speak to people who have managed here and know the supporters. They have said what a good club this is and the great fanbase it has - and what an impact they can have on the team when they get behind them.

“What I am really looking forward to is getting the stadium full and bouncing again.

“I have driven in today and been so excited coming in, it’s incredible. The challenge is something you’ve got to embrace.

“We will outline our demands to the players and what is expected from them. They are going to have to work very hard, stick together and have a right good go.

“As long as they do that, we will see where that takes us.”