Bradford City: Jon McLaughlin interview

Jon McLaughlin has seen so much of the bench in the past three seasons that his Bradford City team-mates would be entitled to nick-name him "The Judge".

For many a fellow player, it would be enough to have them hammering on the manager's door and demanding answers, but that's not McLaughlin's style, with the former England Students keeper having kept admirably professional during his recent near three-month absence.

McLaughlin's philosophy has been to keep his head down, throw himself into doing the hard yards in training and stoically wait for his chance.

And few would begrudge him a sense of personal satisfaction despite City slumping to their third successive League One reverse on the trot in Tuesday night's 1-0 loss at Aldershot.

It was McLaughlin's first appearance since being bombed after the Bantams' 3-0 loss at Burton Albion – ironically the side's opponents this weekend – way back on October 23, with ex-Watford, Chelsea and Carlisle United custodian Lenny Pidgeley entrusted with the gloves for the rest of the autumn and winter – up to Tuesday.

Illness to Pidgeley earned a recall for McLaughlin, an ever-present until the game at the Brewers and his performance at Aldershot was one

of the few positive things to garner for boss Peter Taylor.

On coming in from the cold, McLaughlin, who has played second fiddle to

Pidgeley, Matt Glennon, Simon Eastwood and Rhys Evans since being signed by ex-Bantams boss Stuart McCall in the summer of 2008, said: "The last time I'd played was on October 23 – nearly three months – so it was great to be back in.

"I've just got to kick on from here.

"People have told me the gaffer was happy with my performance, which is always good. It's a team game; you want to put in a good performance for the team, but also for yourself.

"I was fairly happy as it had been quite a while since I'd played and I was a little nervous that I'd be a little rusty. But it was great to be playing again.

"The gaffer is not one to name his teams or give his plans away too early – I travelled down not knowing that Lenny wasn't feeling the best.

"It was literally when we got down to Watford to train on Monday afternoon that I found out that Lenny was struggling. Then, I got a feeling there was a good chance and it was good to get the training session done and my mind right."

On his winter exile, McLaughlin – who has played in the non-league for the likes of Harrogate Railway and Harrogate Town – added: "Football is a competitive game. Lenny has been brought in and is a good goalkeeper.

The gaffer has to do what he thinks is best for the squad; it doesn't mean you like the decision, but you've got to be professional, get on with it and keep your head down.

"You can't be feeling hard done by as it will mean you are not ready to get the chance to come back in.

"It's been disappointing and frustrating after the two previous seasons, but you learn from it.

"Hopefully, if I get another run, I'll take advantage.

"In goal, one mistake can be costly and can take you out the side.

"It's not like another position where you might get a run out as sub

here or there. You have to bide your time and it can take a while to get a sniff.

"That's why when you get the chance, you've got to be ready."

While McLaughlin is keen to make up for lost time, it's fair to say time is also of the essence for City if they are to rekindle their dwindling play-off hopes.

McLaughlin said: "We are not happy with the way we're playing. It's probably not unfair to say we've got one of the most talented sides in this league and should definitely be at the other end of the table.

"But we're not giving up on this season. At the start of this year, we got a few wins and weren't so far off the play-offs.

"Even if you aren't having a great season, a good run can move you up the table."

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