Bradford City boss David Hopkin has issued a statement – apologising for their weekend hammering at Gillingham.
The manager of Pompey’s next opponents took the unusual step having refused to speak to the press following Saturday’s 4-0 loss.
The rock-bottom Bantams suffered a fifth-straight defeat, with all four Priestfield Stadium goals arriving during the second half.
Devastated by more than 12 players missing through illness and unavailability, Hopkin’s side reside at the foot at League One – four points adrift of safety.
Bradford host Kenny Jackett’s table-toppers this weekend, having won just two Saturday fixtures at Valley Parade in 2018.
And with speculation Hopkin may walk following eight weeks in charge, he today released a statement criticising their latest loss.
He said: ‘Saturday was bitterly disappointing for everyone connected to Bradford City and there are simply no words to describe the way in which we collapsed in the second half.
‘It was unforgivable and wholly unacceptable. I want to take this opportunity to apologise to the supporters who made the long journey to Gillingham and spent hard-earned money to endure what was served up.
‘I would also like to apologise to the members of the media who I have built a good working relationship with over the past eight weeks, for not speaking with them after the game.
‘David Ball’s first-half goal should have stood and I think everyone would agree in saying we would have been good value for a two or even three-goal lead at half-time.
‘Half-time came at the wrong time for us and the right time for Gillingham. Their first goal was against the run of play and we simply didn’t recover from it.
‘The attitude of the players left a lot to be desired and we blew a massive chance to earn a vital three points, in what was a significant fixture for the club given our current predicament.’
Jackett’s men lost 3-1 at Bradford in April as their play-off aspirations petered out at the season’s end.
That represents the only time the Bantams have scored more than two goals in a match during 2018.
It has been a miserable campaign so far of the Valley Parade club, who sacked head coach Michael Collins in September after six matches in the job.
His replacement was ex-Livingston boss Hopkin, also a former Bradford player, yet their wretched form continues.