GARY Bowyer insists City have laid the platform for their League One survival mission in his opening two games.

The Bantams are back in training today as they build up to Saturday’s crucial clash with Oxford.

With the home side currently four points above them in the drop zone, it is a fixture that has a huge bearing on their chances of staying up.

And Bowyer believes his team can approach it with plenty of belief despite the home loss against leaders Luton.

He said: “I don’t think many people would have expected us to take anything from the two games.

“But we’ve won on Saturday (against Peterborough) and had a good go against the league leaders.

“It’s definitely a building block and there are lots of positives in terms of how we want to play.

“We’ve laid the foundations for the next nine games.

“It’s important we recover very quickly and travel well and have a go at Oxford.”

Oxford’s goalless draw on Tuesday at Rochdale, another team in the relegation zone, made sure that City did not lose too much ground on their rivals. The gap to safety still stands at four points.

Bowyer added: “It’s all about us and what we do. We can’t control what the others are doing.

“It’s still only four points but we’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves.

“We watched Oxford on Tuesday and got the report from the game coming in. We’ll piece all that together and see how the players all are when we come in.

“We gave them the day off yesterday because they deserved it for their efforts in the last couple of games.

“The confidence is definitely there. The pleasing thing about the other night was the way we played and went about it.

“The players were genuinely disappointed afterwards at losing to the team top of the league. We’ll work on that and hopefully get better.”

Bowyer admitted that the scans on Kelvin Mellor and Calum Woods had not revealed good news after the defensive duo were both forced off against Peterborough.

Neither are expected to be available until at least the end of the month.

“They are going to be a while unfortunately,” he said. “It’s going to be a couple of weeks before they come back, maybe more.

“It’s a setback but we’ve got to be sensible. I don’t want to rush them back now for one game and then miss out for the rest of the season.

“If it takes them a month to come back, then we’ll wait for that. Then hopefully we’d get them back for the last three or four games.”

Their absence has left numbers stretched and Bowyer added Josh Wright and Omari Patrick to his options in midweek.

Wright had not been on the bench since November, while striker Patrick came on for a late run-out – his first City outing of the season.

Bowyer added: “It’s a clean slate for us.

“The injuries we suffered on Saturday impacted the squad.

“As I said at the time, it wasn’t the biggest squad in terms of experienced players.

“The only ones missing (on Tuesday) were young Luca (Colville) and Joe Riley. The rest are injured.

“That just shows you how stretched we are. They come into the squad and everyone’s going to play their part.”