Colin Todd today confessed: I'm mystified at why it's gone so wrong.

The City boss has been left as frustrated as the fans by his side's sudden slide down the League One table.

From two points behind second spot two months ago, the 15th-placed Bantams have plunged to within five of the relegation zone.

They are now eight adrift of the play-offs after claiming only one point in six games.

The collapse has left everyone around Valley Parade scratching their heads - not least the manager himself.

"Our form just mystifies me," admitted Todd. "I cannot understand how we have tailed off all of a sudden after our good start. I had hoped the win over Crewe in the FA Cup would give us that impetus again but you saw on Saturday that wasn't the case. But you expect players to perform better than they did at Oldham.

"Sometimes you look at the togetherness and whether people are working hard enough to help each other out. Possibly that is not the case at the moment.

"But I've got to praise the younger ones like Nathan Doyle and Simon Ainge, who have shown the right attitude. Doyle is only 18 but he has stood up to be counted like a man when things have not been going well."

Todd has cleared the air with his players as they face a tough week of training ahead of Saturday's suddenly vital home clash with struggling Bournemouth.

And he is expecting a lot more from Tommy Black, who didn't even last until half-time on his debut.

Todd said: "That's the gamble you take with loan players but his fitness levels were probably nowhere near as good as they should be.

"He had trained with us on Thursday and Friday and looked fine and you could see he could manipulate the ball. But on Saturday he couldn't.

"He couldn't get the ball out of his feet, couldn't see the pass and his first touch wasn't good. It just wasn't happening and I couldn't persevere with him."

Richard Edghill and Ben Parker are expected to rejoin the squad as they prepare to face Bournemouth but Lee Holmes will be out for at least another week after an injection in his troublesome ankle.

The Cherries have lost five in a row under new boss Kevin Bond.

Todd added: "It's a case of who comes out of their slump first on Saturday. We must make sure it's us."