The Scratching Shed welcomes Michael (@boyfrombrazil) from Bradford City blog Boy From Brazil for a look ahead to tomorrow’s League Cup clash at Elland Road.

For me, Leeds v Bradford was the ideal cup draw. Very rare we get to play you lot, and it’s always a game I look forward to and want to win. Were you happy with the draw?

To be honest I rolled my eyes at the draw. Firstly the structure of the league cup that splits into North and South and then seeds practically guarantees that there will be local derbies so it has a kind of forced feel to it but more importantly I find everything around the West Yorkshire derbies to be, well, dull.

The arguments between the three league clubs in West Yorkshire have been done to death and have gone beyond interesting. After every game with one of our West Yorkshire rivals there is an issue with our fans having to endure songs about the fire of 1985, there is reporting on semi-evolved fans (from both sides, we have some especially annoying runts following us at the moment) kicking lumps out of each other or buses. Add to the the usual exchange of “well, you are not our proper rivals” and the experience of covering goes between the tedious and the annoying.

If the game were just the game I might enjoy it but everything around it will probably be the same old, same old.

18th last season was a pretty poor finish, have you improved much over the summer and what are your expectations this time round?

If you look at the eleven years since we exited the Premier League then only once have we finished above our position in the last season so to expect that to be changed round by ridding the club of one set of League Two players dragged together over the course of one summer and replace them another set of League Two players dragged together over the course of one summer seems a little unrealistic.

That said it seems impossible to imagine this season being as unproductive as last so we might nudge above 18th but lets not start talking about promotions. More important is that rather than looking at the season as being an attempt to get promoted we need to start looking at the aim of a season as being to be better at the end of it than we were at the start.

With that in mind we recruited a genuine progressive in the form of Archie Christie who we brought from Dagenham and who is creating what he has dubbed Bradford City University for players released from Premier League clubs or signed from the non-league to scale up the success he had in developing players with the London club. In this – and for the first time since Geoffrey Richmond turned up in 1994 with his quid a kid and naming rights – we have a plan to improve the club other than just really, really wanting to be good. This is a longer term project – and one which hopefully will not be derailed in a half season like most of the plans that emerged in the last ten years – and certainly not one which has done much in the one game since it started.

All this said the team is probably better than last season – it could hardly be worse – but certainly not as good as the one which played at Elland Road two years ago losing 2-1.

Peter Jackson has been given a one year contract as manager following his interim spell towards the end of last season, what are your thoughts on him – is he the right man for the job?

The best thing about Peter Jackson – aside from his rare blood make up – is that he is unimpressive. He does not arrive as the promotion expert as Peter Taylor did nor is he the club legend that Stuart McCall was so he is not expected to achieve instant results so he might get a chance to do his job before the support turns on him as it did his predecessors.

Jackson does not offer any quick fixes. He has a bit of passion for the club which is good and he is prepared to work hard.

Who are the players we should be keeping an eye on in the Bradford City team?

James Hanson is developing into a fine player having added to his game in the last two years since he joined from non-league and the same might be said about David Syers at the end of the year. Both scored against Nottingham Forest in the First Round of the League Cup last season in a game we won but that had no impact on the season at all which perhaps might be the context of this game should either of us follow up our opening day defeats with further losses.

It is said that we will be fielding a new goalkeeper the other two being unavailable. That has a Neville Southall ring to it.

We’ve gone for an all black away shirt with illuminous yellow stripes this season, but it seems you’ve decided to release an even worse one! Are you a fan of your new bright pink strip?

Yes. If you do not like the pink away strip is is probably because you have gone the wrong side of thirty five, bought a pair of slippers and think that all modern music is “just noise.”

If you could sign any of the current Leeds United squad, who would it be?

Andrew O’Brien, because he is the only one I have really heard of and he remains the best man marker I have ever seen. That said man marking is an utterly unused skill in League Two which is all about size so if you have anyone who is over six foot six then I’ll take him.

What do the Bradford City fans think of Leeds United? Pure hatred I assume?

I cannot speak for anyone else but I feel near total ambivalence. There is nothing at all positive about the Bradford City vs Leeds United rivalry. For Bradford City fans it recalls a lot of nasty things in the 1980s most of which both sides would hopefully rather had not happened. Leeds United do not want it because they prefer to be the junior partner to Manchester United in a rivalry that is even more lopsided than the one with City.

This has always puzzled me about Leeds United’s desire to consider Manchester United rivals. Ask a guy who does not follow either side what is more likely: Bradford City playing Leeds in the Championship play offs or Leeds playing Manchester United in the Champions League and they will tell you that the former is more probable than the latter.

The rivalry is negative, unwanted, and uninteresting. Until things get on the pitch that is when the games can be very good.

Finally, what is your prediction for the game?

That – thanks to the gate receipts and the Sky TV money – Bradford City will walk out of Elland Road £200,000 richer which will go towards the work that Christie is doing to start building a squad for improvement rather than a team to go all out for promotion.

Anything else I’ve no idea about. A seeded draw tries to make sure that the higher team wins and this game – in that context – is 27th plays 86th so a home win is an as expected but I’ve learnt to never try predict games.

  • kev

    that young man seems quite depressed with bradford,thought things were bad at leeds at the mo with us,i'm looking forward to tomorrow night back at elland road trying to be positive and predict a 3-1 victory for the mighty whites

  • mattbb1

    i'm predicting a surprise defeat to Bradford, 2-0. based on what little i've seen of the southampton game i just cant see our defence being strong enough.

    • ross mccaramac

      i hope sg warns them about the pink kit (secret weapon)

  • He couldn't resist a dig at the Leeds Man U rivalry could he. Strange how Man U fans consider us rivals and most Yorkshire clubs can't see it. I thought he'd seem a little more excited for the Bradford cup final…

  • Matthew Crumpton

    Miserable twat isn't he?

    • TSS

      LOL, he said himself that he was in a bit of a dour mood and it was perhaps reflected in his answers.

      Don't think he's keen on the Bradford-Leeds derbies. Can kind of understand what he means that it's a pretty negative rivalry.

      • Matthew Crumpton

        Haha, there's no perhaps about it! I don't mind a West Yorkshire derby. Rather be playing Bradford tomorrow night than Lincoln like last year. Good turn out by them if they bring 5000+

        Hopefully they'll score at least once to stop this boyfrombrazil topping himself before full time.
        I'm going 4-1 Leeds.

    • Grumpy

      Wouldn't you be miserable if you were a Bradford supporter? ; – )

  • birstallwhites

    theres ment to be a bates OUT PROTEST on saturday 1.30pm is anyone going to go? i would of thought every leeds fan home or abroad will be there!!

    • TSS

      Working before the game so it depends what time I finish as this is arranged for 13:30 and I sometimes don't get home 'til half two. I've included a link in latest post to the Facebook page organising it all.

    • mojoluafc

      Not me, i`ll be in Cornwall surfing and getting pissed. :D