CITY’S friendly at Farsley today has been called off.

The Throstle Nest pitch is rock solid after hot weather and has been deemed too much of a risk with possible injuries.

Both sides wanted to try everything to get game on but have made the late decision to cancel.

It means that the Bantams first game will now be at Guiseley on Tuesday with head coach Michael Collins insisting that the season starts from the moment they play for the first time.

City have six warm-up outings leading up to the League One curtain-raiser at Shrewsbury in four weeks.

But Collins has made it clear that friendlies are not just gentle looseners.

He said: “We’ve tried to stress to the lads that we want to win in any game.

“We have principles that we believe in whether we’re training or we’re playing a game. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing against, I want to see those principles.

“I don’t like to see anyone going through the motions. That’s one thing we’re really big on.

“Sometimes in pre-season friendlies, players may think that it’s just a little tick-over.

“We’ll be on them straight away to say ‘no, it’s not’. The season starts now.

“You might view it as a friendly but you’ve already had a week to lay your marker down in training.

“Now it’s a great opportunity to go out and put that into practice in games, where it really matters.

“Ultimately, as a coach and players, we’re judged by what we do in games not training. The lads are well aware of that.”

After an intensive week’s work at the Carden Park hotel in Cheshire, Collins is looking forward to seeing his new charges get down to business on the pitch. He wants them to be switched on from the start. When you play non-league sides, they will be right up for it.

“There will be players who have not quite had our luck in the careers they’ve had.

“They will be looking a little bit enviously and will want to show they can play at that level as well. We’ve got to be respectful of that.

“We’re under no illusions that the next few games, as they come up in intensity towards the York one, are going to ask different questions.

“It will be good for me to see how certain people react to a different scenario and environment.

“Whatever team goes out, we’ll be looking to do everything right. There’s no slacking. There’s never a day off. Even on the recovery days, we’re always thinking about the next game and how we can affect that.

“That’s how you’ve got to be now. Football is a 24/7 job and you’ve got to be a professional all the time.”

Kick-off for today’s aborted game had been brought forward three hours to avoid clashing with England’s World Cup quarter-final against Sweden. Collins can sense the upbeat vibe and hopes City can add to that.

“The national team is doing well in the World Cup, the weather’s good and football is starting to come back on the horizon. There’s a feelgood factor and hopefully there will be a decent turnout.

“There’s nothing like that excitement of pre-season.

“Every club in the division, I don’t care who they are, is saying ‘it’s going to be our year’.

“Everybody is positive and we’ve got to make sure we grab it and run with that.

“Hopefully we can put on a good show and the fans see what we’re all about from minute one.”