Aaron Mclean has provided a mid-season pick-me-up to revive City’s fortunes, insisted Phil Parkinson.

The Bantams boss has immediately noticed a different atmosphere about the squad as they head into tomorrow’s derby tussle at Sheffield United.

Parkinson said: “It’s a terrific game to be involved in and I’m just so pleased we go there with a new signing. It was so important.

“You can feel it in the dressing room. The lads, like the supporters, have been waiting.

“We’ve got so much honesty in this camp and they need a lift.

“We’ve been working exceptionally hard but we need a front two who are really going to give problems at the top end of the pitch.”

Billy Paynter makes his home debut for the Blades after joining on loan from Doncaster. He was a name that City had considered earlier in the season.

Parkinson added: “Nigel (Clough) has brought Billy in but otherwise it’s pretty much the same players.

“He has changed the way they’ve played to a certain degree and they’ve become more functional as a team.

“They had a great win at Villa and then got beaten at Notts County so their form is a bit up and down. That’s this division all over.

“We’ve got to integrate Aaron into the team and work at continuing what we need to do.

“We were good in many aspects of our game against Bristol City.

“The pitch isn’t great, it’s going to be a real battle and we’ve got to have a real competitive edge to our game.”

Andy Gray could be involved for the trip to his old club after training well but the game might come too soon for midfielders Nathan Doyle and Ricky Ravenhill.

Raffaele De Vita has suffered a setback with his thigh injury.

With Mclean’s arrival, the focus switches to players leaving Valley Parade and Parkinson expects Alan Connell to be on his way shortly.

He said: “Alan’s talking to a few clubs.

“He is ready to go because his contract is up and he needs to play.

“It’s not about the money but it’s waiting for the right opportunity.

“Every weekend someone might get an injury and then their situation changes.

“We have had calls but he’s not been enthused about one or two options. But now his mind’s set that when the next one comes along he’s going to be on his way.”