JAMES Hanson is desperate to play a leading role again in City's promotion charge.

Jamie Proctor faces a late test ahead of tonight's clash at Coventry after missing training yesterday with a stiff back.

Hanson is breathing down his neck for a first start since March 5 but accepts that Phil Parkinson is right to stick with the same line-up.

The big striker said: "To say I want to play is an understatement – but at the same time the team have been winning. We're playing really well, so there's no reason for the manager to change it.

"You almost feel privileged to get on the bench these days. It's a tough ask because there is so much quality in the squad.

"Look at the bench on Saturday, you've got me, Rozza (Rory McArdle) and Fil (Morais) – all players capable of playing at this level and maybe the one above.

"But I'm sure if Proccy is okay, he'll play and rightfully so. He's been brilliant since he came into the side."

Hanson reckons a win at the Ricoh Arena would virtually secure City's place in the top six at least – and keep alive their outside shot of catching the second automatic promotion spot.

"We're all striving to play in the Championship and I think at the moment we've got a great chance to do it," he said.

"There are four games left but tonight is a decisive one. We'll have an idea if we're in with a chance of second or fighting for a play-off spot.

"Barnsley are five points behind us and, looking at their run-in, you'd fancy them to win three of those games.

"We need at least one win – but with the squad we've got, we're aiming higher than that. We all want to catch Burton and Walsall.

"Gillingham are on a slippery slope and probably the ones looking back at Barnsley. But as far as we're concerned, we should be looking forward because the results have been brilliant recently."

Coventry were top of League One when the sides drew 0-0 at Valley Parade at the end of November.

Bantams assistant boss Steve Parkin is bemused by how they have plunged to mid-table but is still braced for a difficult night.

He said: "I've no idea why their season has petered away. They were right up there and have still got very good players.

"We're not under any illusions it will be tough. They'll be motivated to make it two wins on the spin after beating Millwall.

"The manager (Tony Mowbray) is a proud man and he'll expect them to finish as strong as they can. But it's a game that we're really looking forward to. It's a big old pitch in a great stadium and we'll have a great following.

"If we could recreate the same kind of performance from Saturday right to the end of the season, there won't be any complaints from anybody."

Meanwhile, Josh Cullen is relishing the prospect of sharing a pitch with his West Ham boyhood idol Joe Cole.

Cullen, who was just two when Cole made his Hammers debut in 1999, grew up as a huge fan of the Coventry midfielder.

The City loan player said: "I remember watching him as a young West Ham fan. Funnily enough, the 5-4 win against Bradford when he scored is the game that sticks in my mind, although I was too young to be there at the time.

"It will be good to see him again. He's a nice fella and everyone who has come through the Academy looks up to him.

"When Joe came back to West Ham for his second spell, I had the privilege to train with him and played with him in a couple of reserve games.

"People always talk about Mark Noble, Joe Cole, Frank Lampard and Michael Carrick at West Ham – it's not a bad list of midfielders to reel off.

"There are a lot of great players and that's what the fans there expect from you coming through. You can only aspire to get to the level those guys have reached."