JACOB Butterfield insists City will not be panicked into hit-and-hope football as the relegation stakes rise.

The Oxford loss means that a win in this weekend’s clash with Blackpool at Valley Parade is an absolute must to maintain realistic hopes of beating the drop.

Having slipped to the bottom of League One, the gap to safety is up to six points going into the final seven games.

READ MORE: Butterfield comes of age with Bantams

It’s a tough survival equation but Butterfield stressed they must not abandon the principles of getting the ball down and keeping it on the floor that are being encouraged by Gary Bowyer.

The midfielder said: “It requires a bit of nerve as a group to keep playing like that.

“But the manager has come in and thought that’s how he is going to get the best out of the squad.

“Is it just by kicking it up to big centre halves who are just going to head it back? That’s not going to be the best thing for us to do.

“It’s about us all realising what’s the most effective way of trying to get those results. That’s by playing football.

“We’re not the most physically strong or quick so we need to play with the ball on the floor.

“We believe that’s the right thing to do and hopefully the fans will appreciate watching that rather than us just lumping the ball forward.

“If they can get behind that, then it will hopefully give us the best chance of winning some games.”

The Derby loanee has been pushed into a more advanced role following Bowyer’s arrival, scoring in the win over Peterborough and having one of City’s few efforts on goal last week.

It is a position where Butterfield feels more at home as he is given more freedom to drift about.

“My natural game is an attacking midfielder and I’ve always played my best football when I’ve been further forward,” he added.

“The last couple of years I’ve played deeper, more as a holder. But I feel I can affect the game more from a more attacking position.

“The manager has been brilliant with me so far.

“It can be a bit up in the air when there are changes but I’ve had it a lot in football.

“I’ve played professionally for a long time now, so I’ve seen it all before.

“A new manager comes in and you don’t quite know where you’re going to fit in to that.

“Thankfully he knows a bit about me, seems to be a fan, and has put me in a position where I feel I can show what I can do.”

If the pressure from battling to stay alive in League One is not big enough, the Thornton-born Butterfield is also having to cope with the expectation of being a local lad. There will be plenty of familiar faces again among the Valley Parade crowd.

He said: “There’s a lot of pride for me and a little bit of pressure. Everywhere in the stadium, I’ll know people in this stand and that one.

“I want to go out and do my best for myself and for them as well who have come to support the club.

“There are a lot of nice people here, friendly people that you want to do well for.

“Whatever’s happened here this season, I don’t know where you can pinpoint the start, but it’s been really disappointing.

“But we are where we are now. We’ve got a new manager who I think is going to be really good for the club and we’ve got to stay positive.”