Phil Parkinson labelled City’s win at Colchester as one of their best displays since promotion – and he is calling for more of the same.
The Bantams boss was delighted with the way they dismantled his former club to pull further clear of the frantic scrap at the bottom of League One.
Now he is targeting a repeat showing tomorrow to spoil Peter Taylor’s Valley Parade return with Gillingham and take another significant step towards mid-table security.
Parkinson said: “We’ve got to concentrate on reproducing our performance at Colchester. I thought that was one of our best all-round displays home or away this season.
“We had lots of chances in the first half and just to come off at half-time 1-0 up wasn’t a true reflection of the game. But we kept going and got our rewards.
“The team played very well across the board. We had a good balance and everybody contributed.
“It was a solid, professional performance and now we will be doing everything we can to take that level of consistency into tomorrow.
“We’ve got to make sure that we capitalise with another effort just like that throughout the 90 minutes.
“Gillingham are another team round and about us in the table – but if we play in that manner again, I know we can give them a very difficult game.”
James Hanson will be looking to extend his red-hot scoring run. After missing the Brentford defeat with a sore groin, the targetman claimed his sixth goal in nine games with a trademark header.
He is now up to 12 goals for the season and within three of catching Nahki Wells as City’s leading scorer.
Parkinson, who admitted Hanson had been sorely missed at Griffin Park, is confident he can keep it going.
The Bantams boss said: “Hans has been terrific, not just with his goals but his all-round play. He is in a great vein of form and there’s no reason why he cannot continue that.
“Every week he is physically capable of replicating the consistency he has shown throughout the season.”
Having gone back to familiar surroundings in Colchester in midweek, Parkinson knows the boot will be on the other foot when Taylor heads back to West Yorkshire.
Parkinson said: “Peter is well known to our supporters and will know all about the atmosphere at Valley Parade. I’m sure he will be preparing his team to deal with that.
“It will be good to have him back but we’ve got to focus on our own team and getting our performance right.
“We put in a very committed performance to get the three points on Tuesday and it’s very important for us to follow that up.”
Parkinson will check on Gary Jones at training today after a virus ruled the skipper out on Tuesday – the first league game he has missed. Matty Dolan deputised well in his absence but would be favourite to step down if Jones is ready to come straight back in.
Gillingham, who currently trail City on goal difference, have had a good week with home wins over Crawley and Coventry but they have lost five of their last six on the road.
Taylor said: “I don’t know how close we are to survival. We’ve just got to keep on getting points. We’re delighted to have 44 points but there’s still work to do.”