GARY Bowyer wants City’s “second date” to be one to savour for their travelling army at Grimsby.

A sold-out 1,800 away following will join the Bantams for their first trip to Cleethorpes in a decade tomorrow.

And Bowyer hopes to woo the large backing with a win after last week’s opening stalemate against Cambridge.

He said: “It’s a brilliant club for that support and hopefully we can send them home smiling.

“I’ve said since I’ve been here that the supporters just put a smile on your face with the numbers they come out in.

“It’s another fantastic turn-out to sell out our end and it’s been mentioned in the team meeting to give them something to cheer.

“Several in the team have mentioned how it makes them feel. Having been at a club where there were no fans for a particular time, you see the positive impact that it has when the players walk out and hear that noise.”

Bowyer insists the mood remains upbeat despite being held by 10-man Cambridge in the League Two curtain-raiser at Valley Parade.

“It was a bit like a first date,” he added. “It can either go terribly wrong and you never want to know her again or you can think ‘there’s enough there to keep me interested’.

“There were lots of good things and lots to work on, which we’ve done this week. Now we’re really looking forward to the second date.”

Paudie O’Connor, Shay McCartan and Hope Akpan could all come into the reckoning after recovering from injuries. Jermaine Anderson has also trained all week with no reaction from the problem that forced him off in the first game.

Grimsby will be looking to follow up last week’s win at Morecambe – but James Hanson has vowed not to celebrate if he scores against his old club.

City are likely to face a direct approach from the Mariners. Bowyer, though, does not anticipate a more physical battle than normal.

He said: “They are all competitive in this league. In the Cambridge build-up, I watched their friendly with Ipswich and that was competitive to the point where there were two sent off – and that was pre-season.

“Grimsby played well to get the win against Morecambe and will be buoyed by that. There’s also the excitement and expectation of the first home game.

“It’s going to be a tough battle but it’s up to us to put our stamp on it and play our game.”

Keeper Richard O'Donnell said: "We know their style is pretty direct but they do well with it.

"Obviously, Hanson is a threat up front and they do really well to get people around him.

"We'll have to be on top of our game to play our football as well."