City head back for Devon today with Phil Parkinson stressing: I believe the goals will come.

The Bantams are back in the south-west to tackle seventh-placed Exeter after the midweek stalemate at Plymouth.

James Meredith returns to the squad after an 11-week absence following a bout of glandular fever.

Parkinson checked on his progress in the reserves at Hartlepool on Wednesday night – the defender’s second outing in three days.

But it is the other end of the pitch that has been causing concern, with City scoring only once in the last three games.

Parkinson expects his side to come through their current barren spell.

He said: “We’ve just got to keep going and working hard for each other and hopefully we’ll find that edge to finish off some of the good play. I’m sure that will happen sooner rather than later.

“We’re looking for players to produce moments of inspiration as they have done at various stages of the season.

“We’re looking to get that first goal; that bit of magic and show that coolness needed when the chances come. I firmly believe we’ve got players who have that in them.

“I’m not scratching my head thinking I need to bring two or three new players in. We’ve got enough ability within the squad.”

Left back Meredith has not featured since New Year’s Day when he was subbed at half-time against Morecambe. He was then diagnosed with the illness and there were fears he could be out for the remainder of the campaign.

But City are confident he has fully recovered and the Australian featured for the reserves twice in recent days without a problem. A further blood test is planned next week which should confirm that his system is clear.

Parkinson said: “He’s played two games of 45 minutes this week and done well in both of them. He comes into the squad and we’ll see how he is when we travel down.

“It’s been a difficult time for him. The uncertainty of not knowing (how serious the illness was) was tough.

“He’s had it really rough, no doubt about it, and I’m so pleased to see he is back in the squad and pushing to be involved.

“Mez has worked hard these last couple of weeks and is determined to contribute between now and the end of the season. Carl McHugh has been excellent there but he obviously plays centre half as well and having Mez back is a big boost.”

Parkinson remains on the short-list with the bookies for the Reading vacancy behind favourite Nigel Adkins, Paolo Di Canio, Roberto Di Matteo and Gus Poyet.

But the City chief, who is in the process of discussing a new contract at Valley Parade, has already played down the link with his old club and joint-chairman Mark Lawn confirmed: “There has been no approach from Reading at all.”

Exeter have been hit by midfield injuries with former Bantam Tommy Doherty and Matt Oakley joining playmaker Alan Gow on the sidelines.

Boss Paul Tisdale has been hugely impressed with City’s exploits in getting to Wembley.

He said: “I don’t think I’ll be the only person to say that they are the stand-out team of our league this year.”