Steve Parkin questioned the “pessimistic” reaction after City’s Wembley homecoming ended in a stalemate.

James Hanson’s ninth goal of the season rescued a late point in a 1-1 draw with Dagenham at Valley Parade.

It leaves City still ten points behind the final play-off spot, although they have games in hand on everyone above them.

While it was a frustrating start to the 15-game mini-campaign that Phil Parkinson has targeted, his assistant Parkin is baffled by any suggestion that they have already blown it.

Parkin said: “I just feel there’s an air of pessimism around the place and I don’t know why. It’s almost as if the place needs a lift.

“We’ve come off the back of a fantastic cup run. We let ourselves down a little bit at the weekend but we’ve got to make sure we see it through to the end.

“We’ve got two or three games in hand on most people and we’ve got to play a lot of teams above us. So we’ll see what happens.

“Is it because Bradford City are expected to win every game? I don’t think that’s the case.

“Dagenham came here and played very well. We did our best and the players couldn’t have given any more.

“There’s no guarantee you’re going to win just because you’re playing Dagenham & Redbridge.

“They’ve been very committed in their performance in terms of the manager leaving and trying to impress the new guy.

“Our league form has not been what we want it to be over the last few weeks. But the easy thing to do is look directly at the end of the season before the end of the season’s here.”

Parkinson made six changes from the Swansea defeat, with Hanson and Nahki Wells replaced up front by Andy Gray and Garry Thompson. The regular pair came off the bench midway through the second half and both were involved in City’s equaliser.

Parkin said: “I thought (Thompson and Gray) were good in the first half. They were a threat and started to make inroads into their defence in the last 15 minutes.

“We should give the two central defenders some credit. (Luke) Wilkinson has had an outstanding season and a lot of people are looking at him.

“I thought Thommo and Andy were starting to get on top but it was the time to make the change and bring the two lads on after giving them a breather from Wembley.

“In terms of possession, some of the way we played was really good until we got ten or 12 yards from goal. We were found wanting a little bit but we kept going to the very end and that’s all you ask for.”

Winger Zavon Hines came in for some physical treatment and Parkin felt referee Chris Sarginson could have cracked down sooner. He also thought City should have done more to make their set-pieces count.

He said: “This was a difficult game in terms of bouncing back after Wembley. But it could have been a lot more difficult if they hadn’t put in the energy and effort.

“A lot of players have run their socks off. Zav Hines and Gary Jones have put a massive shift in.”