MIND the gap – that’s all City should be focusing on for Gary Bowyer.

The Bantams are braced for a critical date in the battle to save their League One status today when they face fellow strugglers Oxford.

Karl Robinson’s side are currently four points ahead of City in 21st – the same distance currently separating Bowyer’s men and Shrewsbury in the last spot above the relegation places.

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The City boss hopes to nibble away at that points difference with a victory at the Kassam Stadium.

But his focus for the final nine games will be fixed on the numbers in front of his team and not the names.

He said: “That’s the main thing for me – the four points. It doesn’t matter who it is or what clubs, it’s the gap.

“If we can reduce that again, that’s how I’m working. I’m not thinking ‘we must get closer to them or them’ because we have no control over the other teams.

“Who knows, somebody out of that pack might drop quite quickly and they’re in it when none of us had predicted that.

“It’s a very simple way of looking at it for me. We’ve just got to look after ourselves and keep looking at reducing that gap.”

Eight teams are currently within four points of the drop zone in the congested bottom half of the table.

Southend have plunged dramatically since winning 4-0 at Valley Parade and are just two points above in 17th.

Scunthorpe have also been clawed back into the mix after pulling clear with a winning burst that saw Stuart McCall named manager of the month for January.

Bowyer added: “We can’t control other games around us and can only focus on ourselves. That’s the mentality that we’ve got to go with.

“I don’t understand how to not do that. I can’t be looking at Bristol Rovers or Scunthorpe when I’ve got Oxford today.

“That’s my make-up and we’ve just got to concentrate on that and give a performance like the first two games.”

Fifty points is traditionally seen as the survival mark but with so many teams involved that could potentially be less this time.

Bowyer, though, believes it is dangerous to peg your hopes on a specific target.

“How many points? I don’t know,” he said. “As many as we can!

“You’ve just got to focus game by game.

“What do you do if you say it’s 46, get to 46 and then everyone relaxes and thinks that’s it.

“Then, all of a sudden, it’s got to be 47 and you’ve got to pick it up again.

“The demands from the first game were as many points as we can and that won’t change.”

Goal difference is another factor against the Bantams. Only Wimbledon and Rochdale in the bottom 12 are worse than City’s minus 20.

Bowyer admitted: “That’s what I was quite frustrated with the (penalty) decision last Saturday. Winning 3-0 would have been far better.

“That said, on Tuesday night, people have said that they expected a few more goals when the first one went in.

“The fight that the lads showed to make sure it stayed at 1-0, who knows if that might make a difference?

“But we’ve got to try and reduce that goal difference, so we’ve got to look to keep some clean sheets as well as score some more.”