Phil Parkinson could barely conceal his delight after City deservedly dumped League Two promotion rivals Port Vale out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
The understrength Bantams struck twice shortly after the break through Ritchie Jones and Craig Forsyth to avenge Vale’s fortuitous win at Valley Parade in September. It was City’s 29th match of a marathon campaign and has left them just two rounds away from a trip to Wembley for the final on April 7.
Parkinson, whose side remain alive in all four competitions this season, started with key men Nahki Wells, James Hanson, Nathan Doyle, Gary Jones and Matt Duke on the bench.
Yet Parkinson said: “I thought it was an exceptional performance. We’re a squad and I’ve been saying that all season – everybody has to play their part.
“I thought Tom Naylor and Curtis Good were outstanding at centre-back.
“They want to learn and they’re committed too. On a night like this you have to be.”
Striker Garry Thompson made a vital contribution with two clever assists, first laying the ball into the path of Jones to fire home and then showing intelligence to supply Forsyth for a killer second.
Parkinson added: “I thought he played really well. He made the two goals and I’m pleased for him. He’s adding the end product to his game.”
It was City’s second game of eight in December and Parkin-son added: “Everyone will be needed over the Christmas period.
“Torquay at home is now another massive game for us and we’re looking forward to it.”
City were lucky to survive a penalty claim in the second half when Jennison Myrie-Williams was hauled to the ground but was instead booked.
Parkinson, who saw Jon McLaughlin mark his return to the side with an outstanding performance, added: “We probably got away with that one slightly. But cast your mind back to when we played them at home.
“It was a travesty that we didn’t get a result that day so it was important we got our rewards tonight.
“When you come to a team above you in the league and win with a performance like that it sends out a message.”