STUART McCall has hailed City's diamonds in the rough as they target a six-point salvo from the approaching away double-header.

The Bantams face back-to-back trips to Bristol Rovers and Fleetwood in the intensifying battle to stay in the League One play-off mix.

McCall is boosted by the return of Nathaniel Knight-Percival to face Rovers. The centre half will join in full training this morning after missing the last three games with a damaged ankle.

"It was a bit more serious than we first thought but we're expecting him to be able to train with the lads again," said McCall.

"He is doing all the diagonal running, checking and going backwards and forwards without any problem."

Former team-mate John Dreyer recommended Knight-Percival to McCall in the summer. He is one of several signings who have shone after City took them from sides who had endured difficult League One campaigns.

McCall said: "It was 'Tumble' who got us Knight-Percival's name. He suggested him in the first place. I then rang Darren Ferguson (who managed Knight-Percival at Peterborough) and all the feedback from Shrewsbury was very good. Nat did well in a team that were struggling.

"But it was the same with Timothee Dieng, who was at a struggling Oldham, Romain (Vincelot) was doing well at Coventry, who were struggling at the end, and we got Doyley (Colin Doyle) after he got relegated with Blackpool. They are all good players even though their clubs had difficult seasons.

"The best thing is they have all integrated so well and you see the collective desire all the time. They were so absolutely gutted after the game on Saturday that we couldn't get the win. It hurts them all. But then everyone was ready to be up and at it again."

Mid-table Rovers have won five in a row at home and Fleetwood, who sit a point above City in fourth place, are unbeaten in the league since November. Yet McCall can sense a growing conviction within the players and insists they will travel with confidence.

He said: "The last time we had two away games close together like this was Peterborough and MK Dons – and we won both of them. We don't go anywhere with any inferiority and we'll enjoy this.

"I remember there was a year as a player at Rangers, it might have been the sixth (title) in a row, when we did a lot of under-performing.

"Even though we won the league again that season, you struggled to pick five or six good games. But we just managed to always get through it.

"But this season we haven't had lots of under-par performances. The players have been giving everything they've got and we've been the better side in most weeks.

"We've had a couple of under-par 45 minutes at Valley Parade and there was a full 90 minutes when we were ineffective at Shrewsbury.

"But even at Southend, when we lost 3-0, we hit the bar and had good chances. The scoreline didn't reflect the performance.

"We got done by a 30-yard free-kick at Swindon and missed a penalty and some good chances at Oxford before they scored in the last minute.

"The crucial fact is that we haven't taken our chances in a lot of games and that's come back to bite us with too many draws. We know that – but there is so much self-belief within the group.

"It's what we see day in, day out and we know what this squad are capable of. That's why we'll look forward to this week with relish."