COLIN Doyle says City are happy to show their ugly side to stay in the promotion hunt.

Stuart McCall's men claimed their first win in four games by beating Portsmouth 1-0 at Fratton Park.

With leaders Shrewsbury losing for the first time, the third-placed Bantams cut the gap to top spot to seven points.

Matt Kilgallon scored the only goal in a poor performance but Doyle, who kept them in it with a couple of crucial second-half saves, was delighted to take the points.

The City keeper said: "If we want to stay up there in the table or even be higher, then we can't be doing that – you can't expect to win games 1-0 and hang on.

"But I suppose it's a good sign that we can still win without playing well. We've done that a few times recently.

"We know what we want to do. We want to play nice football and win games. But if we have to do it ugly at times, like we did on Saturday, then we're prepared to do that."

McCall admitted Portsmouth were the better side and City rode their luck as the hosts blew a number of scoring chances.

Yet Doyle sensed a fifth away win was on the cards when Kyle Bennett, who had a loan spell at Valley Parade during Phil Parkinson's reign, missed an open goal after an Adam Thompson mistake.

Doyle said: "Thommo sold me a bit short but I don't know how I didn't clatter the boy and bring him down. If I had caught him, it might have been a red card. It was one of them that did cross my mind.

"I don't know how wide I managed to push him but, in all honesty, I couldn't believe that he missed it. I did have a little feeling at that point that we might end up nicking it and we did."

With the FA Cup next up against Chesterfield, City are not back in league action until November 11. Doyle felt the result was all that mattered going into that gap in the schedule.

"We didn't deserve to lose to Charlton last week so, although it wasn't the performance we wanted, we got the win," he said.

"The gaffer gave us a rollicking, which we needed. We were sloppy all over and didn't seem to put two passes together.

"We were a little bit better in the second half but not much. But Macca (Tony McMahon) did what he does best with his set-piece delivery and Killa got on the end of it.

"Teams are looking at us seriously and know what they're up against. Nowadays all games are taped. There are wyscouts and prozones so you can see everything.

"Back in the day, you'd sometimes not know what to expect from a team. Whereas now, managers do their diligence and watch games and see how you play.

"But we've got to deal with that if we want to be up there challenging."

McCall said: "We're under no illusions we need to be better. I'm streetwise enough to know that level of performance week in, week out won't get us wins."