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Henry calling for Bolton to restore their shine against Bradford

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
James Henry has called on Wanderers to show their true colours in Saturday’s eagerly-awaited clash with Bradford City.

After losing their unbeaten record at Walsall last weekend the Whites attempt to start a new run against Phil Parkinson’s former club.

The game looks like it will be the hottest ticket in town, with the club confirming yesterday the gate was on course to top the 17,000-plus who watched the opening day victory over Sheffield United.

The sense of anticipation has translated to the dressing room, too, with new loan recruit Henry urging his team-mates to shrug off last weekend’s disappointment and raise their game to meet the occasion.

“It’s going to be a big game against Bradford for a lot of reasons and everyone’s really looking forward to it – obviously there is the rivalry with it being the manager’s old team along with them being just behind us in the league table too,” he said.

“It’s one for the fans and there will no doubt be a really good atmosphere around the stadium with Bradford bringing a couple of thousand supporters too.

“On the pitch though, it’s just another football game and we’ll be going out there to give our all and pick up all three points.

“With the unbeaten run now gone, it’s down to us to show what we’re made of. Realistically, the chances of you going unbeaten throughout an entire season are pretty slim, but it’s just down to how you react and we want to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.

“The fact that we’re back at home too is a massive boost for us – in any league, you always need to make your home games count and the fact that we’re still unbeaten here in the league is important.

“You’ve got your own crowd behind you and you’ve got to make it a fortress, which we’ve done so far this season.”

Henry was one of five new arrivals on transfer deadline day, signing from Wolves on a six-month deal until January.

Still highly regarded by the fans at Molineux despite dropping out of favour under new boss Walter Zenga, the 27-year-old has not mapped out what might happen after his time with his current Wanderers comes to an end.

“From my point of view, I just want to perform to the best of my ability while I’m here and there is definitely a lot more to come from me,” he said in an interview with the official matchday programme.

“I probably wasn’t up to full speed when I first joined, but after training these past few weeks and getting virtually three whole games under my belt, I can really kick on now and keep my fitness levels at their peak.

“I was thrown in at the deep end a little in terms of starting the Southend game just a few days after joining, but with the way everybody welcomed me into the club, it wasn’t too hard really.

“Sometimes it’s better like that rather than biding your time and I feel that having been in the mix these past couple of weeks, I can really help the team this season.”

Henry had been a regular for Wolves in the last two seasons under Kenny Jackett, helping them out of League One as champions and then to a solid season in the Championship.

He also played a handful of games under new boss Zenga before being sent out on loan, where he plumped to join Wanderers ahead of Charlton Athletic to reunited with ex-Millwall team-mates Liam Trotter, Mark Beevers and Chris Taylor.

Henry admits moving clubs on the last day of the season was a challenge – but with Keshi Anderson, Tom Thorpe, Sammy Ameobi and Ben Alnwick arriving at the same time, he had someone with which to share the experience.

“With five of us coming in on that deadline day, it was a bit of a mad one but I’ve got along with all the new boys well alongside the players already in the squad,” he said.

“There’s a few of us in the hotel still too so we see a fair bit of each other outside of training which has helped with the settling period.

“Even though my loan spell is initially until January, I still want to make my time here as enjoyable as possible.

“Settling into a new club though is never something that will happen overnight, but it’s important that you don’t let the whole upheaval process linger because the league doesn’t wait for anyone.

“The games come thick and fast and it’s imperative that your focus is on your football from the second you walk in the door.”


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