CITY’S club Twitter feed put a brave face on the news that they were finally down.

A defiant message focused instead on the 13,500 – and counting – who have already signed up for next season.

It’s that strength of support with the Bantams at their lowest ebb that has encouraged Gary Bowyer.

And that is the major selling point behind the recruitment drive that he is already cranking up.

As the Bantams play their penultimate home game this afternoon against Gillingham, Bowyer insists he is only interested in players capable of handling that weight of expectation.

He said: “Those (season ticket) numbers should inspire them and the players have been reminded of that.

“The support we have received this season has been fantastic.

“Next season, already we have reached an incredible number. The fans deserve success.

“What it has done already is provided an attraction to play for Bradford City.

“We have been busy this week on the phone, looking to the future. A great selling point is that we have sold so many season tickets already.

“We must be the only club in the country to do this so far. It’s a fantastic achievement and a credit to everyone involved, the club and the supporters in particular.

“It is a wonderful turnout. We have to now make sure we find the players who can handle playing in that environment.

“We want ones who want to play in that environment, and be inspired by playing in front of such passionate supporters.”

Those fans expect the current under-achieving squad to be dismantled over a hectic summer as Bowyer looks to finally put his own stamp on the dressing room.

But while he is desperate to get going with the overhaul, the City boss admits that it will not be an immediate process.

He added: “Anyone who thinks we have all the deals lined up, ready to be announced at 8.30pm on May 4, then they clearly do not deal with agents much.

“But meetings have taken place and conversations are constantly taking place. Targets have been identified and contact made.

“In an ideal world, we get some announced as quickly as possible once the season is over. But experience tells me it will not be like that.”

Bowyer turned round Blackpool’s fortunes when he took over a club that had just been relegated to League Two. He is confident of being able to do the same at Valley Parade.

He said: “It will take more than one window, that is for sure, to get where we want to get to. But this is an exciting time.

“I like this stage and the challenge of convincing people to come and play at our football club. So far, the conversations have been good but we need everything confirmed before we can cement those deals.”