STUART McCall saluted his battling Bantams after back-to-back victories strengthened their grip on a League One play-off spot.

Alex Gilliead and Shay McCartan fired second-half goals as City beat Fleetwood 2-1 – the first time they have come from behind to win since March.

City were hit by injury and illness, Tyrell Robinson dropping out of the team yesterday morning, and McCall was delighted with the response of his side at the end of a hectic holiday period.

The City boss said: "Footballers can be molly-coddled at times but the pitch was sapping on Saturday (at home to Oxford). The majority of those lads have played four games in ten days and I'm really pleased with the fitness levels.

"Tyrell cried off with illness in the morning, Adam Thompson was totally wiped out and to put himself on the bench was a great effort.

"Tony Mac (McMahon) only had something to eat late on Sunday night. He'd been in bed for two days and then put in a shift like that.

"We thought we'd only get 60 minutes out of Tim Dieng and he played the whole game – but you could go through the team.

"We didn't start well in difficult conditions but we said at half-time that if we keep a clean sheet, we'll win the game. We have enough quality going forward.

"The key was to be focused defensively. We drilled that into them to be strong at the back."

City's win, coupled with setbacks for Portsmouth and Peterborough, has opened up their advantage in fifth place to seven points.

McCall, who rested Matt Kilgallon, has given the players an extra day off before they prepare for the long FA Cup trek to Yeovil.

He said: "Speaking to (chairman) Edin (Rahic) before the Wigan game, he said we'd never scored a last-minute goal – then Tyrell scored.

"Then on Sunday, Edin was saying we haven't come from behind, so we can tick that box as well.

"We've got enough experience to know there are different ways of winning games.

"It's been a really hectic period and we've got a little bit of a breather now.

"Killa (Kilgallon) was like the Tin Man on Sunday – he'd have needed WD40 to get up!

"A lot of those lads have played a lot of football lately and they are not spring chickens. It was a great effort to bounce back from back-to-back defeats."

McCall will now switch his focus to sorting out the future of the current loan players – and is confident of keeping Gilliead and Luke Hendrie.

The City boss said: "Everything has been agreed with Newcastle and with Gilly and his agent. Hopefully that will be sorted.

"I'd like Luke to be the same. He was terrific again yesterday and just gets on with it."