GARY Bowyer has tipped Jake Reeves to become a future coach because of his insight into the game.

City’s long-term absentee is making steady progress as he recovers from a lay-off that has kept him out for 19 months.

Bowyer can sense the shift in mood with the midfielder – and is also impressed by his deep-thinking about football.

The Bantams boss believes Reeves could channel that into a future career.

He said: “Jake’s got a good knowledge of the game.

“I have conversations with him and gather his opinion. Once you’re out and you’re injured, you start to watch it a little bit differently.

“You’re not just watching it as a player, you have a bit more time to analyse it. That’s what he’s found himself doing.

“The conversations I have with him, he’s got good information and good detail.

“From my point of view, I’ve told him that in years to come he should start looking at the coaching route. I think he’d be decent at it, for sure.”

Bowyer appreciates the importance of keeping players mentally tuned in when they are not part of the day-to-day training. Joe Riley is also facing up to the prospect of a season on the sidelines after his knee operation on Thursday.

The City boss added: “When you’re out for a period of time, you start looking at things more from a coaching point of view.

“Everybody was out warming up last week and there was Jake and Joe asking me, ‘what’s it like for a manager, then?’

“They wanted to know if I get nervous before a game or if I have superstitions.

“You can see the shift of the thinking because they are out injured. They start to look at it differently to when you’re a player and you just carry on.”

Bowyer will not put a timescale on a possible return for Reeves but insists he continues to go in the right direction.

“We can’t put a time on it but he’s going well,” he said. “He has been doing ball work, which is a massive step in the right direction for him.

“His spirits around the place have been fantastic.”