Lee Bullock will not care how scrappy it gets at Valley Parade tomorrow – as long as City emerge with a victory.
Grimsby’s visit has become a must-win game for the faltering Bantams as they try to claw back the points dropped during their mid-season stutter.
Tuesday’s depressing loss at promotion rivals Bury saw them slip down to ninth. City have not been cut adrift – they are four points off second – but desperately need a home win to revive the faltering belief among the supporters.
Straight-talking Bullock admitted the players owe the fans for letting them down big time in midweek. And he stressed that only a win tomorrow, however it is achieved, will do.
The central midfielder said: “It doesn’t matter how we play as long as we get the three points. Even if we nick a 1-0 in the last couple of minutes, the win is the only thing that counts.
Obviously you want to put on good shows and get the fans coming through the gate but sometimes you just have to grind one out and win ugly if it comes to thatLee Bullock
“Obviously you want to put on good shows and get the fans coming through the gate but sometimes you just have to grind one out and win ugly if it comes to that.
“Hopefully come the end of the season, we’ll all be celebrating and nobody will look back and think that Grimsby was a terrible game. All they will remember is how we got the three points towards promotion.
“If they come here to frustrate us and get men behind the ball, we’ve just got to get past that. We should be used to it at home now and if takes 88 minutes to break them down, that doesn’t matter as long as we do.”
City have won just once in nine league games and the Bury defeat, watched by 1,800 away fans, dropped them out of the play-off places for the first time.
It was Bullock’s first start since damaging knee ligaments at Shrewsbury in September – but not a game he wants to remember.
He added: “Initially before the game, being back in the side was a nice feeling. But as football does, it then smacks you in the face.
“Everyone was confident after the Luton game and I’m gutted that we just didn’t perform.
“I’m not saying for one minute that we turned up thinking it would be the same as Saturday. But we didn’t win battles in enough areas and let them get on top.
“You’ve got to win the battles, beat the man you’re up against and then push on to take the chances when they come along. We didn’t do any of that at Bury and we lost ground to another team up there.
“But we’re all grown men and we can take criticism. It’s up to us to prove it was just one bad night and we are a good team.
“And the only way we can do that is go straight back out and put things right with a win.
“We’ve got two home games coming up in three days now and the table could look a lot different next Tuesday.
“The great thing is that we’ve got the chance to bounce back straight away and we’ve got to take it.
“Nobody’s going to forget about the Bury result and how we let everyone down. But we’ve got to move on now and we can do that by winning in front of our own fans.”
Improving Grimsby have picked up seven points in the last three games, including a win at leaders Wycombe.
Ivory Coast-born striker Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro has recovered from a slight hamstring strain which forced him out of the midweek draw with Dagenham and is likely to replace Peter Bore.
Midfielder Nathan Jarman, who scored the Adams Park winner, believes the Mariners can inflict more misery on City.
He said: “I remember playing in the reserves against Bradford when I was just 16 and loving it. It’s a big stadium and a big club and I just hope we can get another scalp there.
“I played up front on my own there last season and it was going well for us until a couple of defensive lapses. Their winner came right at the death.
“Hopefully we’ve eradicated that from our game. Conceding late goals was a problem but we seem to be closing games out more now.”