The Michael Wood Column

Saturday 01 September, 2001

The time for Dean Windass has passed

There was a time, only around six months ago, when the idea of rejecting Dean Windass from the City team bordered on madness. Now I am glad Jim Jefferies has not signed the player back after Middlesborough offered him.

In so many ways Dean Windass was the Bradford City team that stayed in the Premiership. Grit, determination, a cheeky two fingers to the doubters. These characteristics were shared by the team and the man.

In comparison Eoin Jess, effectively the replacement for Windass, is lightweight and seems less committed. Dean Windass would look like an instant slot-in replacement understanding that while you lose a little in skill, you make up a lot in bringing Dean's lion heart back.

With two goals and three excellent displays to his credit Eoin Jess would be justified in getting rather upset should he be replaced and the signals sent to the current squad by jumping at the chance to get one of City's former star back would be harmful. Getting Windass would say "Thanks for the three wins lads, now we want the old boys back".

The current squad have earned faith from Jim Jefferies. They are the one's that stuck with the club through relegation, they are the ones who decided to spend a season fighting tooth and nail to get a team that many say have no right ot be there back into the Premiership. Benito Carbone stayed for the task, Eoin Jess signed up for it, Dean Windass left.

From a footballing point of view there are many reasons to bring Dean Windass back, but Windass was always a player about moral, always about playing the game from the heart and he himself would understand the logic of sticking with the guys who have stuck with you.

At 32 Windass will find it hard to get a place at another Premiership club, although the likes of Derby and Southampton would do well to get in for him, but a move to the top of the Nationwide League can not be ruled out. I doubt very much we have seen the last of Dean Windass.

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