Bradford boss Stuart McCall: Play-off defeat tough to take
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 20/05/17 6:39pm
Bradford City boss Stuart McCall has admitted that defeat was tough to take after losing 1-0 to a late goal in their League One play-off final with Millwall.
Steve Morison struck a contentious 85th-minute winner for the Lions, appearing to net from an offside position, to fire them into the Championship and condemn the Bantams to another season in the third tier.
"It's fine lines in football," said McCall. "The game panned out how we thought it would, we had the majority of the ball and they put us under a lot of pressure from set-pieces, which we defended admirably.
"We talked before about needing a bit of luck, and naturally it's tough to take. I don't think there was anything between the sides, and congratulations to Neil, I know how he must have felt after losing at this stage last year.
"But it's hard to say anything to the boys in the dressing room as they're absolutely devastated. We wanted to leave as winners, but I've got to credit the players and the supporters who were outstanding again. It has been a fantastic journey and it was almost an unbelievable one. It just wasn't our day today.
"Everyone knows the Millwall front two have been the best partnership in the league for the last couple of seasons, and for the better part of the game, we defended really strongly against them. But we have to accept that's what happens in sport."
There were ugly scenes at the final whistle as Millwall fans pitch invaded following their victory, with some crossing into the opposite half to "goad" McCall and his staff. And the Bradford boss believes it's time for the organisers at Wembley to better control such situations.
"I think Wembley have got to learn now, everyone knew that the fans were coming on," he said. "I still don't understand the fans wanting to do it, to goad myself, my staff and players when they've just won a game. Just enjoy your moment.
"I was close to clocking a couple who were coming up in my face, but that's not sour grapes, it's something you've got to learn from. Then, five or 10 minutes later, an army of stewards are coming on. Where were they straight after the game when they should have been on the halfway line?
"It's not just Millwall it happens all the time. It's fine but stay in your own half and celebrate with your players and your team. You don't need to come goading."