CITY used to get stick for the directness of their play.

Then again when James Hanson was in the ranks, why wouldn’t you utilise that aerial advantage?

But the present Bantams are a very different set-up.

With Charlie Wyke still fighting back from last month’s torn hamstring, they do not possess a targetman to aim at.

It has meant a different way of thinking going forward with a ground-based policy.

Blackpool and Doncaster both arrived at Valley Parade sporting three centre-halves. Gillingham could well do the same tomorrow.

So it’s no point in a battle of muscle for City’s frontmen. Instead they have to come up with other methods of finding a gap.

“Everyone can see we’re not big or tall strikers,” said Dominic Poleon, who has wasted no time in catching the eye. “We’re not going to be rustling and bustling with the ball in the air.

“You can try but you’ve got to play to your strengths.

“Last Saturday against Blackpool for example, when I came on you could see they’d got big centre halves so I had to play down the sides.

“When the full back gets the ball, I’ve got to make that run, get the ball down and play it that way.

“You try to draw the full backs out, isolate them and play down the side of the centre halves.”

Poleon gave a glimpse of his power and pace with the finish that opened his account in the Carabao Cup defeat to Doncaster.

It backed up a lively cameo from the bench on opening day – and ended a personal frustration that had been hanging over him since a couple of chances went begging in that first game.

He added: “I pride myself on goals, pace, power and directness to get past people.

“I feel I should have had two last Saturday but that wasn’t the case.

“Most people said to me ‘well done, you came on and made a difference.’

“But for me, that wasn’t good enough by my standards in terms of the finishing aspect. I believe in my own ability.

“As a striker, you want to score as many goals as you can. That’s why I was delighted to get off the mark the other night.

“To score early on will hopefully set up a nice trail of goals to follow.”

Poleon missed ten days of pre-season after rolling his ankle in the Sunderland friendly.

He only returned to full training a week ago and Stuart McCall reckoned the striker was out on his feet after playing the whole game on Tuesday.

But his partnership with Omari Patrick has already got City fans buzzing with anticipation.

“I feel good and I feel fit now,” said Poleon. “I’ve set my standards now and I’m looking to kick on.

“Omari is younger than me so you’ve always got to talk. Whenever I’ve played with older strikers, the communication is key on the pitch.

“We’ve got to click with any of the strikers that come in. We’re all different.

“We’ve got a variety of attackers, whether it’s Tayls (Paul Taylor), Gilly (Alex Gilliead), Jonesy (Alex Jones) or Charlie when he comes back.

“Whichever two players are up there, you need to get that connection.”