PAUDIE O'Connor says home advantage on the opening day of the season can kickstart City's return to League Two.

The Bantams will get their season under way in 43 days time when they entertain Cambridge United on Saturday, August 3. City will be reunited with former striker James Hanson when they travel to Grimsby Town seven days later.

Other standout games include the visit of newcomers Salford City on December 21. City will travel to Carlisle United on Boxing Day, before hosting Morecambe on New Year's Day.

City will go to Forest Green Rovers on Good Friday (April 10) and then entertain Crewe Alexandra on Easter Monday. City face Walsall on April 25 at Valley Parade in their final league game of the regular season.

READ MORE: City's season all mapped out

The 21-year-old defender, who signed a permanent deal at Valley Parade earlier this week, says a home clash can lay the foundations for a strong start to the season.

O'Connor added can't wait to get pre-season under way next Monday in preparation for their opener against Colin Calderwood's side.

He said: "At least we now know where we're going to be for the first few games.

"I think it's an advantage playing at home first.

"A lot of people are tipping is to do well this year. I don't know much about Cambridge, but everyone in this league is going to be competitive, it's the same every year. I'm expecting them to be dogged."

O'Connor expects the other teams relegated from League One; Scunthorpe United, Walsall and Plymouth Argyle, to all be competitive this year in the fourth tier, but says City have an advantage with their large home support.

He added: "Salford could be a threat, as they have invested heavily.

"Make no mistake about it, we are one of the biggest teams in the division. It brings extra pressure.

"I think we have just got to concentrate on ourselves. Gary is laying down his own philosophy on how we're going to play.

"The crowd will be a big factor for us

O'Connor says he is out to repay the debt shown in him by Gary Bowyer, having previously worked with him at Blackpool.

O’Connor’s permanent switch from Championship neighbours Leeds was another statement of intent from the Bantams, who signed experienced striker Clayton Donaldson last week.

The Irishman penned a three-year contract in a deal which is thought likely to contain a sell-on clause for Leeds. The centre-back signed after turning down offers from League One.

He received plaudits for his performances in the claret and amber during his loan spell at City last season. He also earned the captain's armband during the latter stages of the campaign.