GARY Bowyer admitted absent duo Calum Woods and Kelvin Mellor could have been “key” in salvaging City’s season.

The versatile defenders both returned to training yesterday for the first time since they were injured in Bowyer’s first game in charge against Peterborough.

The Bantams have lost all six since to stand on the brink of relegation – which could be confirmed with another defeat at Coventry tomorrow.

READ MORE: Simon Parker's latest City video

Woods suffered a torn hamstring in only his third appearance, having come back from the same injury. Mellor, who played under Bowyer at Blackpool, injured his calf.

Bowyer said: “They both have experience and both offer physicality, which I have to say we have been lacking at times.

“They would have been a key part of my plans but for the injuries.

“It has been a big blow to be without them due to the fact they both have the ability to play in a number of positions.

“Injuries have an impact on your seasons. We have been lacking in certain areas, so to lose two of your taller players has been a blow, especially as it happened in the same half of the same game.”

David Ball (knee) is still struggling to recover in time for the trip to the Ricoh Arena as Bowyer looks for a response to the current rut.

In the week when Tiger Woods winning the Masters was hailed as sport’s greatest comeback, the City boss would love to see similar inspiration from his rock-bottom side.

He added: “Did I watch Tiger? Yes, I did. I heard Neil Warnock commenting on it earlier this week, saying he felt Cardiff had been written off more times than Tiger.

“It proved inspirational for them the other night at Brighton. The players certainly need lifting, whatever way shape or form they find the motivation.”