SHAY McCartan admitted he didn’t want to come back to City – but is now relishing being part of a “much happier place”.

The Irishman is keen to seize his second chance at Valley Parade after returning from a season-long loan at Lincoln.

McCartan helped the Imps to the League Two title, scoring seven goals in 38 appearances – and was on target in the 1-1 draw with Cheltenham that sealed promotion.

He was initially reluctant to be back with the Bantams after a tricky first spell but has found a “completely different” club.

“Up to a month ago I had it in my head that I didn’t want to be here,” said McCartan.

“Lincoln were doing really well but Bradford, ever since I joined, had this negative vibe with the whole place and I didn’t enjoy it.

“But the whole atmosphere is black and white to what it was like before.

“I was speaking to some of the lads just before I came back and they were saying it’s miles better now.

“Since I’ve been in for the last fortnight, it feels like a completely different club.

“It’s just a lot more professional and better run and it’s a lot happier place. The manager has instilled that and it’s a good place to be at the minute.”

Gary Bowyer told McCartan and Jordan Gibson, who spent the second half of last season at Stevenage, that it would be a clean slate for everybody.

McCartan believes his new boss is a major factor in the transformed mood since City were relegated – and is being allowed to manage after the meddling that his predecessors constantly faced from former chairman Edin Rahic.

He added: “The managers before had their hands tied behind their backs really. It was difficult for them as well – it was difficult for everybody.

“It was frustrating for us because of what was going on behind the scenes. But that’s gone now and we can’t use that excuse any more.

“The club is in a very different place. The gaffer has brought in some good lads and we’ve all gelled well together.

“Training has been tough but the gaffer is enthusiastic and the days are long but enjoyable. That helps with this group of lads.

“If it was a poisonous changing room, you couldn’t wait to get home. But the fact everyone gets on so well makes it a lot easier.”

McCartan joined Lincoln last July just a couple of weeks into pre-season. He did not hear from City again throughout the campaign.

“I was away for a full season and the first contact I had off Bradford was from the gaffer now,” he said. “That says a lot about what was going on behind the scenes.

“But now it’s like I’ve not been away. It’s been great.

“I think one of his goals is to try to get the morale back and the positivity and I think it’s shown on the training pitch.

“You’ve got a lot of banter flying about now where before it felt more like a funeral.

“Bradford may be a massive club but I never got a family feel off it.

“Now you feel that everyone cares about you. It’s a positive place to be at the moment.”

City are expected to send a mixed side to Brighouse Town tonight for their second friendly (7.30).

Bowyer said: “There will be a few of the trialist boys and we’ll see how people have responded after Saturday.”