CITY have been told to stay calm – and the goals will come.

The Bantams have struggled to score all season, netting just 12 in the league so far.

They have fired blanks in the last two games against Gillingham and Portsmouth, despite having 29 attempts at goal – with 10 on target.

Hope Akpan missed a glorious chance to salvage a late point off leaders Pompey last weekend to highlight City’s nerves in scoring positions.

Boss David Hopkin said: “We’re working hard in training on creating chances.

“We don’t have a lot of pace in the wide areas and didn’t have any wingers last week, so we have to come up with ideas to go and try and play.

“You saw the chances we did create – the chance from Hope.

“It’s pleasing the players are taking things on board. It’s just that final shot or bit of composure.”

Hopkin admits the anxiety in the penalty area is understandable with City’s current plight. But he is urging his team to try to conquer those nerves.

“You’ve got to relax,” he added. “A lot of players get into the box and then tense up.

“The best finishers and the best midfield goal-scorers are the ones who go in there and stay calm and score.

“You saw that with Portsmouth’s goal last week. (Gareth) Evans didn’t lash at it but passed it into the top corner.

“He knew what he was doing and didn’t rush. He knew there were going to be people blocking and just passed it in.

“That’s what happens when you’re scoring goals and you’re confident.

“But I thought we played against a very confident team. A lot of good players, a lot of pace, they are everything that you should be and that’s why they are top of the league.

“That’s the way a good League One team should be and everyone complements each other – and that’s where we have to get to if we are going to compete.”

Hopkin believes a positive FA Cup result at Aldershot on Saturday can act as a spark to lift their league form. He stressed the players will be taking the non-league side very seriously.

“The FA Cup is so important to clubs because everyone wants to get into the third round and hopefully draw one of the big teams.

“We’re no different to anybody else and it’s a massive game at Aldershot.

“We need to make sure we are fully focused and every player is prepared. We have to be hard to beat and go out there to win the game.

“It’s a game where you expected to win. Nobody says anything if you do.

“Aldershot are probably looking at where we are in the league but it’s about the mentality of our players.

We’ll be giving Aldershot the respect they are due and our attitude must be right.

“We need a lift. Get a win and hopefully that will kick-start our season.”