GARY Liddle reckons City's diamond geezers are beginning to sparkle as next week's League One kick-off fast approaches.

The Bantams make their final pre-season appearance tomorrow ahead of the Coventry opener when they take on Liddle's old club Hartlepool at Valley Parade.

Phil Parkinson is still trying to swell numbers before the season starts and yesterday's monthly board meeting focused on potential recruits.

But Liddle believes City's new-look starting line-up is shaping up nicely as they adapt to a shift in midfield philosophy.

"It's no secret that we've got this new formation and we're playing a diamond," he said.

"That's what we've worked on for most of pre-season. It's going to take time but the understanding is developing.

"We're all brand new players in midfield – but if you play together consistently, you'll get to know each other's games inside out."

Hartlepool agreed to fill the gap after City and Morecambe decided to ditch their planned friendly at the Globe Stadium. Parkinson's side go there in the first week of the season in the Capital One Cup.

It means a Valley Parade return for Matthew Bates, who was released at the end of last term, and winger Jack Compton.

Former Premier League midfielder Jonathan Greening is also likely to feature. He played for Colin Cooper's team against Middlesbrough in midweek after failing to earn a contract with Rotherham.

For City, Liddle sees tomorrow's game as a final chance to tweak the system and build on last week's encouraging performance against Blackburn.

He said: "That was a different type of work-out to Ireland because of the better opposition and that showed in spells. But that's where your pre-season fitness comes into play.

"Blackburn pulled no punches last season and finished just outside the play-offs. They are a good team, so we knew how tough it would be.

"I thought we tried to implement our style on them and didn't neglect Hans (James Hanson) up there. We played some good stuff.

"There were passages of play last week when we kept the ball well. It will come.

"Sometimes when we got further up the pitch, we probably should have been a bit more careful and not given it away as often as we did.

"But the build-up play showed promising signs and hopefully we can grab ourselves a few goals in the Hartlepool game off the back of that."