Phil Parkinson will not tolerate any more pre-Wembley switching off from City as they continue to slip away in League Two.
The Bantams face trips to Wycombe, the division’s form team, tomorrow and Wimbledon at the weekend before the Capital One Cup final.
And Parkinson is determined to revive their faltering league form ahead of the Swansea showdown a week on Sunday.
Gillingham’s win at Valley Parade ruined City’s send off in their last home game before Wembley. It also dropped them to 12th spot – their lowest position for five months. Parkinson’s side have now lost three in a row at home in the league since their last win on Boxing Day.
He admitted: “There’s no way we’re walking out at Wembley without getting some more points in the bag.
“That won’t be doing ourselves justice. We’re better than being a mid-table team.
“This was a big game but we’ve got two cup finals coming up now before THE cup final. We’ve got to make sure we fight and scrap for every ball and play to our maximum.”
Gillingham claimed the points with a soft goal from Cody McDonald after keeper Matt Duke hesitated in coming for a through ball. Parkinson branded the victory “smash and grab” after City controlled most of the game.
“We didn’t come under pressure,” he said. “We just gave them a very cheap goal.
“It’s very frustrating because I thought they were there for the taking.
“If I was a defender or goalkeeper, obviously we’re frustrated at conceding that goal but maybe that shouldn’t have been the one that won Gillingham the game.
“At most it should have been the one that got them back in it, because we’d had enough pressure to be ahead.”
Parkinson added: “James has got to hit the target and he knows that. They are defining moments in games of football.”
Carl McHugh was rested after making his Republic of Ireland under-21 debut against Holland. Tom Naylor took his place at centre half – and played well – but has now returned to Derby at the end of his loan.
Andrew Davies was back on the bench for the first time since his knee injury in October. He will be in the squad again for Adams Park.
Parkinson said: “Hopefully he’s ready sooner rather than later. I wasn’t expecting to use him for more than 15 minutes and only if we were ahead.
“I just felt I had to take Carl out the firing line. People have got to remember he’s a young player and he’s had a lot of football.”
The City boss also confirmed Rory McArdle will see a specialist today to confirm the condition of his injury.
“The results of the scan and the way his ankle is feeling don’t quite match up.”