CITY are braced for an uncomfortable afternoon at Valley Parade tomorrow as they try to avoid an unwanted club record.

Gary Bowyer’s side play their first home game since relegation to League Two was confirmed when they face Gillingham this afternoon.

They could face a prickly reception from City fans angry at the club’s slide back to the basement division following a run of seven successive defeats.

It is currently the worst run of form for 17 years – and another loss would equal the record of eight in a row set in 1933.

Bowyer admitted his players could be in for a tough environment but fully appreciates the frustration over such a terrible season.

He said: “The supporters have been very good to me. Even on Friday at Coventry, they were singing ‘City til I die’ and I totally understand that.

“They’ve got an individual pride about their club and they don’t want to see it like this.

“It’s up to me and the staff to make sure we work very hard in the summer so that we don’t experience this sort of feeling again.

“But we’ve got to get through these three remaining games first. We don’t want that club record at all.”

Bowyer is likely to make changes again after giving back-up goalkeeper Ben Wilson a first league chance at the Ricoh Arena.

Danny Devine, who came off the bench on Friday and cleared one off the line, could come into the reckoning as well as Jermaine Anderson.

Recent absentees Kelvin Mellor and Calum Woods are getting closer and the City boss intended to make a late call on their progress after the weekend’s training.

But he is still without David Ball with a knee injury and Adam Chicksen, who suffered a problem with his Achilles against Bristol Rovers.

Bowyer added: “Chicksen is still out and Bally won’t be anywhere near. Kelvin and Calum possibly might have a chance but we’re going to have to dust ourselves down and see who is around.

“Otherwise, we’re pretty much down to the squad who travelled on Friday and will go with that.”

City may be doomed but they could still have a say in who will join them in the bottom four.

Gillingham still need one more win to make sure of staying up and remaining opponents Scunthorpe and Wimbledon are both in the thick of the survival battle.

“The thing is we have a big impact in these final three games on the outcome of who goes down as well,” said Bowyer. “We’ve got to be right to everybody else how we play.

“Gillingham are a big powerful team and play a good way to suit them.

“It’s going to be another big challenge because they are still fighting themselves.

“It is what it is. I knew coming in it would be very difficult.

“We’ve got the players more organised but you need more than just looking pretty between the two penalty boxes.

“I’m a great believer you end up where you deserve. We just haven’t been good enough in both penalty boxes at key moments in games.”