SIMON Grayson insists City have set the bar for the last three weeks of the season.

His Bantams restored some pride with Thursday’s goalless draw against Shrewsbury.

Following on from the pitiful display at Blackpool, Grayson was encouraged to see the team match the third-placed opponents in front of a half-empty Valley Parade.

Now he expects to see that same level of effort replicated over the final six games.

He said: “We can be pleased with what we’ve done and we can’t slip below the bar.

“The focus is on Tuesday now (against Portsmouth) and we certainly can’t let our standards drop.

“Regardless of the result on Thursday night, it doesn’t change the philosophy. Players are still playing for this football club and playing for futures here, there and everywhere.

“If you maintain those standards, you will win football matches without a shadow of a doubt.”

After the shocking low of Bloomfield Road, Grayson felt City’s response was the best they have played since he took the Valley Parade hot-seat in February.

“I would say so,” he added. “Given the opposition as well because Shrewsbury have got some good players who know what they’re doing.

“If we hadn’t matched them, they could have run all over us.

“I still think the Gillingham game was the best one because we won that. But ultimately, it’s something to hopefully build on for the next six games.

“There had to be a reaction. The players had to go and deliver.

“The experienced players showed what they are capable of doing and the lads who came in the team certainly affected it.

“There aren’t many times when you get a rousing round of applause at half-time and full-time when you’ve not won.

“All supporters want is to see a competitive team who apply themselves correctly and that’s what we’ve done to gain the praise.”

It was only Grayson’s fifth point from his eight games in charge but City have now made it back-to-back clean sheets at Valley Parade. Four of the remainder are also at home.

Grayson admitted he had found it a challenge trying to restore City's fortunes since replacing Stuart McCall.

“When you look at it from the outside, coming into a team sixth in the division at the time and who had been in play-off final year before. You think nothing is really wrong apart from losing the previous six games.

“But maybe there are things that have cropped up that I didn’t expect to happen. You only find that out once you’re in the job.

“We are determined as a staff that performances and results will improve. That will give us more credibility about why we’re here and what we are trying to achieve.”

Stephen Warnock should be okay for the Pompey clash after limping off against Shrewsbury. The full back had felt his hamstring tighten after training.

Kai Bruenker is also expected to stay in the side after a hard-working first start as Charlie Wyke's strike partner.

Grayson said: "If you’ve got that desire, supporters will love you.

"I’ve seen many a player who’ve not been the most talented but have gone on to have a great career because of their attitude and workrate.

"Kai is still learning but he’s got that basic ingredient of being a real willing honest lad."