AS THE dust settled and the Valley Parade audience trudged away into the night, Derek Adams sat down to relax with a cuppa.

The City boss was no doubt replaying the evening’s events in his mind in the same analytical way he breaks down the game in the post-match press conference.

If anyone had hoped to rattle Adams or chief executive Ryan Sparks with a curve ball at the mid-season fans’ forum last night, they had gone away empty.

The Scot had fired a few jabs of his own – specifically the early body shot at a question on the “100 per centers” in the team – but there were no Twitter-breaking responses.

Any attempts at a “gotcha” for the top table were brushed aside.

City could have played the Covid card to swerve a question-and-answer session that had sold out in the McCall suite with over 200 tickets.

After the pitiful performance at Carlisle three days earlier, the temptation must have been great for the top brass to pull the plug on any potential interrogation from the disgruntled Bantams public.

But Adams and Sparks were willing to face the music – and emerged unscathed from an unremarkable meeting.

The disruption forecast and encouraged in some excitable quarters failed to materialise. No great surprise there.

Whether he's in Munich or Bradford, I don't need someone to put his arm round me or Derek

The barbs from behind the screen were not matched by the mood within the room.

Questions were prickly at times but nothing that made their targets seem particularly perturbed.

It would have been spicier, of course, if owner Stefan Rupp had been in the chair – and the strength of his on-going commitment to City was a major theme.

“We speak pretty much every day,” said Sparks, who also shot down the rumour that the German was taking any money out of the club.

“If he didn’t care, we wouldn’t be talking. We were speaking about Jamie Walker this afternoon.

“It would be very difficult for me to stand in front of someone who didn’t care. I think the same would be said for Derek as well.

“He’s very loyal to the people at the football club and he lets us crack on.

"He is connected to the club. Whether he's in Munich or Bradford, I don't need someone to put his arm round me or Derek - it doesn't have any effect to what happens on a Saturday.”

Sparks also discussed the scenario with Valley Parade and his attempts to rebuild a relationship with landlord Gordon Gibb that he described as “zero” before.

“There are historic issues - he met Edin (Rahic) once which must have been an incredible experience for him!”

You're not a good guy, you're a loser because you've just lost a football game.

Given City’s current status in the bottom half, Sparks was asked about his pre-season assertion that anything less than promotion was a failure – he said his viewpoint had not changed.

Adams talked about how the chasing teams can make those at the top right now nervous as the season wears on. But he admitted that changing the mindset around the club remains a challenge.

“When you get into losing momentum and still have it in the building, you have a problem. I noticed that quite quickly when we started to lose a game.

“It's such a big club. The players have got to understand to wear the shirt and then go out and play is a totally different ball game - the pressure is on you from the word go.

"Look at Jamie Walker who has come from Heart of Midlothian, one of the biggest clubs in Scotland. These are the type of players like Yann Songo'o - he's got a bigger heart than everyone in this room."

Adams has never been one for show and tends not to worry what other people think.

Throughout his managerial career, he has rarely acknowledged the fans after games – and does not understand why players do so after a bad display like Saturday’s.

"I've never seen it as a big thing in football - why clap supporters when you've lost a game?

"Some players do to show they are a good guy. You're not a good guy, you're a loser because you've just lost a football game.

"It's not for every player to do that. But there are clubs all over the country where there are ones who will do that and then put it all over their social media."

Adams also light-heartedly urged the fans to do more to pressure referees at Valley Parade.

“I don't think the supporters are vocal enough towards the officials,” he said, tongue-in-cheek. “They don't give them a hard enough time!”

Adams had certainly not had the tough time that a few might have predicted. He had come through the test – now we wait to see if his players can do the same.