PAUDIE O’Connor insists relegation is not the end of the world for City.

Gary Bowyer has already made it clear that he wants to bring back the on-loan centre half for next season’s League Two campaign.

O’Connor has skippered the side in the closing weeks and Bowyer is keen to push Leeds for the chance to get him again.

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The young Irishman has experienced the pain of going down previously in his career – and is proof that you can bounce straight back.

O’Connor was just starting out with his native Limerick when they were relegated from the League of Ireland top flight in 2016. But he also played a key role as they recovered to storm to promotion the following season.

He said: “I was only 16 or 17 at the time but I ended up playing 25-30 games that season.

“A big factor was how many players committed themselves to bringing the club back up. That was important.

“We did go back up, winning the league by 20-odd points and then reaching the League Cup final against St Pats. A lot of players felt they owed the club.”

Bowyer is ready to embark on a summer overhaul to reshape the City squad for their return to the bottom division after a six-year absence.

But with 16 senior players still in contract, O’Connor believes continuity can also be important – as was the case at Limerick.

“The key for us was that a lot of the players who were relegated chose to stick around,” he added.

“It was the same with the club and the manager Martin Russell. He stayed along with the majority of the squad.

“He also picked up two or three very good signings.

“I can see the same happening here, if we can hang on to the majority of our players and add a bit of experience.

“That should help us, regardless of what division we are in now.”

Bowyer reverted to a diamond formation for City’s win at Scunthorpe, their first in nine games, with Billy Clarke playing behind the front two of Eoin Doyle and Sean Scannell.

“I don’t mind it,” said the Bantams boss. “Like every formation, there are advantages and disadvantages to it.

“But it enables you to get two players up the top of the park. Scannell had some beautiful touches, in the first half especially, and you can see he puts teams on the back foot.

“There were times in the second half when he should have done a bit better when he got into some good moments. But he’s a threat, simple as that.”