Phil Parkinson is demanding that the real Bradford City show up for every hurdle of the run-in to the season.
Parkinson summoned the squad for a team meeting to analyse the DVD of the Oldham defeat that left the club still hovering on the fringes of the League One relegation battle.
With Friday’s trip to Rotherham the first of three successive games against promotion or play-off contenders, the City chief wants to see a more constant approach over the closing weeks.
After picking up four points from two impressive away displays, his team blew up again at the weekend. For Parkinson, it was the latest evidence of a worrying trend that he is determined to eradicate.
“It was just so annoying for us all after two such good performances away from home,” he said.
“Orient and Coventry were as well as we’ve played back-to-back all season. We looked a really strong unit and carried a threat going forward.
“But we never got going against Oldham. I don’t think we put in enough challenges as a team and we’ve got to put that right Friday night.
“We’ve all got to take responsibility and I include myself as manager.
“We went through the recent run of games: Port Vale and MK Dons then Stevenage; Colchester and Gillingham and then Shrewsbury; Orient and Coventry and now Oldham.
“Just when we’ve had a good response, we’ve let ourselves down again by not playing at full tilt. The word ‘consistency’ kept cropping up in our meeting.
“I’m not bothered if there are five games left, ten left or two left. The rest of the season has got to be about putting in consistent performances.
“We’ll have to wait and see how many points that will get us but I just want to see consistency in our play for the last five games.”
City currently sit six points clear of the drop zone with the added advantage of a much superior goal difference. But Parkinson has reinforced the message that they are not safe yet after detecting a hint of complacency in their weekend display.
He said: “I’m not looking at last year through rose-tinted spectacles but when we weren’t 100 per cent and at our liveliest, we often still had enough to get a draw or even the three points.
“But this season, playing at a higher level, if we haven’t got 11 players performing well across the team, the likelihood is we won’t win a game of football.
“Equally, when we have played well, we’ve shown we can give anyone a great amount of problems. It’s about getting that same level of performance.”
Parkinson watched the Millers lose 1-0 last night at Wembley-bound Sheffield United and said: “There’s not much we need to know about Rotherham which we don’t know already.
“They have been in a good vein of form but I’m more focused on us going there and putting in a professional performance.”