PREMIER League promotion-winning boss Paul Jewell has revealed his sadness at City’s current plight – but insists: You might have to step back to go forward again.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of City’s win at Wolves that saw Jewell’s side go up to the top flight.

But the present club will begin next season in League Two after a disastrous campaign ended in relegation.

As Gary Bowyer begins the job of piecing his new squad together, Jewell hopes the manager’s previous experience of reviving Blackpool after relegation can be the template.

He said: “Wherever Gary Bowyer has gone, he has done well. Solid is the right word to describe him.

“I know Toddy (Andy Todd) his assistant very well because he played for me at Derby. They are good football people.

“It’s very sad to see where the club are now and Gary has gone in at a really difficult time.

“It does need strong leadership and hopefully they can hit the ground running. It’s great they’ve sold 13,500 season-tickets already.

“It’s not long ago since they were in League Two but reached the final of a major trophy and then almost got into the Championship.

“Sometimes in life, you might have to take a couple of steps back to go forward again.

“The city itself needs Bradford City to be a successful football club.”

Bowyer issued his retained list earlier this week and is stepping up his plans for a busy summer overhaul.

City were without a boss at this stage last year once Simon Grayson left before Michael Collins was unexpectedly promoted to the job by Edin Rahic over a month later.

He added: “I’m not going to knock the guy because he probably didn’t ask for it.

“But giving a manager a job in mid-June, and a young one who won’t have a lot of contacts in the game, made it really difficult.

“If you’re going to give him the job, do it straight away at the end of the season. Not the middle of June because you’ve got no chance then with the recruitment.”

Jewell, who is currently director of football at Swindon, only met Rahic once when he went in to Valley Parade to see former head of recruitment Greg Abbott.

But he knew of the German’s meddling approach – and could see why it all went wrong.

He said: “Greg was telling me that the chairman had quite an opinion on football.

“Edin came in and he was saying how every footballer should be able to kick with both feet equally as well.

“I said I was going to recommend a player to Greg who plays in Spain but he’d be no good to you because he’s got no right foot.

“He asked who the player was and I said they call him Messi! But he can’t kick with his right.

“I smelled a rat then with Edin and it’s just been interference all the time.

“I know how hard Greg worked. He’s had some bad press but he was working with his hands tied behind his back.

“I would never have sacked Stuart McCall.

“After the (2017) play-off final, I did a charity walk with Jeff Stelling and we finished back at Valley Parade.

“There was a meeting between the CEO James Mason, Edin, Stuart and Abbo and I got the feeling then that the chairman didn’t want Stuart there. It was only a matter of time.

“Stuart’s a fantastic bloke, Bradford City through and through, and if he’d been left to manage the way he wanted to and get the players he wanted, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

“I’m pretty sure we’d be talking about getting towards the Championship not being relegated.

“But there are too many people in football with an opinion.

“You don’t get a plumber in to fix your toilet and then tell them how they should be doing it. Owners need to let a manager get on with the job.”