Alan Connell insisted that City cannot afford to dwell on their heaviest home loss of the season.

Phil Parkinson’s troops have the opportunity to get the Rochdale defeat straight out their system with tomorrow’s trip to Morecambe.

The 4-2 setback was only the third time they had been beaten at Valley Parade this term and cost City the chance to jump into the automatic promotion places.

Connell netted two penalties to take his tally to five in five games but the Bantams were swept away in a first-half goal rush.

The experienced striker stressed there can be no lingering after-effects as City head into another frantic month to kick off 2013.

He said: “We won’t sweep it under the carpet and there are one or two things we need to improve on. But it’s our first league defeat in a long time and it’s important we don’t get too down.

"We’ve had a tremendous amount of games this season but we’d much rather be playing every Saturday and Tuesday. Bring it on, we’ve got a great squad.

“There’s another tough schedule ahead and we’ve had one already. But we’ve got enough strength in depth in the squad.

“It was a strange game. Momentum is massive in football but every time we got back into it we conceded straight away.

“We just had to hang in there a bit longer but then we’d let in another bad goal.

“They kept the ball really well, whereas whenever we did put passes together we looked dangerous but that didn’t happen often enough.

“It was a very frustrating day but you’ll have setbacks in any season and it gives us even more incentive to respond against Morecambe.”

Connell’s personal form is a consolation and he is now up to eight goals for the club.

He added: “I’ve enjoyed December. Before my goal against Torquay which set me off, I was pleased with my performances but felt I was doing everything but scoring.

“Five goals this month and a penalty against Arsenal is something to be pleased about.

“I was very close to a hat-trick with a similar header to the one I scored against Accrington. I caught the ball really sweet but it just went wide – and I thought then that it wasn’t going to be our day.”

With Nahki Wells out ill, Ross Hannah came on for his first City appearance in over nine months. But he still looks to be heading out of Valley Parade, with Grimsby leading the race.

Parkinson said: “Grimsby made an offer and we’re considering it but obviously we need him at the minute. The bench was everybody who was fit.

“We’ll have to wait and see if Nahki’s available for Morecambe. The doctor saw him and said he was best off missing this one.

“But it showed we missed him because he does carry that threat in behind (the defence). When you have that ability to stretch the pitch it does open it up for other players.”