HARRY Pritchard’s agent had described his client’s move as a “step down in division but a step up in stature of club.”

The message posted on Instagram shortly after the winger’s signing was swiftly amended but not before attracting the scorn of those of a Blackpool persuasion.

But it was the latest example of the Bradford City brand and the big-fish expectations in the small pond of League Two.

The reality, as we are once again rapidly finding out, is very different.

Having been registered in time to make his Bantams bow against Crewe, Pritchard got half an hour to show the 1,279 travelling fans what he can do.

His debut from the bench should have been a scoring one but he missed badly with a close-range diving header from Kelvin Mellor’s cross.

There were other brighter moments that suggest he will provide something out wide once fully integrated into the side.

I’d have said system as well but, as of yet, nobody knows for sure what that is.

A month in and City look a team still trying to find their identity.

The parity of the first six games, two draws followed by successive wins and now back-to-back defeats, suggests one yet to get to grips with their humbler surroundings.

It also appears that Gary Bowyer has not worked out his best line-up or formation.

Another game, another set-up as Saturday saw him unveil 3-5-2 for the first time.

The manager afterwards felt that City had coped well in their unfamiliar system; most other observers were not so sure.

He applied gloss to the performance by putting defeat down to two moments of sloppiness with the goals. You can’t disagree with that but there were several other moments when his side’s discomfort could have been exploited by more ruthless opponents.

As his squad-building continues – and City surely need to find striking cover before tomorrow's 5pm deadline – it remains a case of trying to find the best fit.

Solving that jigsaw will be key to whether the Bantams can conquer this division and live up to those lofty demands forever placed on them by the size of the club compared with those around them.

City are not alone in finding themselves in a transition period.

All four teams relegated from League One last season were beaten at the weekend. Scunthorpe are bottom with only one point to their names, Walsall without a win in six.

As Bowyer pointed out, a higher-division reputation offers no immunity. They are all prized scalps, particularly in the early stages of the season.

But City need to work out who they are and how best they plan to tackle the uncompromising challenge ahead.

Jamie Devitt and Callum Cooke will improve the team once they are up to speed. Pritchard’s promise demonstrated he can have a significant part to play.

Zeli Ismail, we’re told, is looking sharp in training as he looks to kick on from the injury-inflicted false start of pre-season.

It’s then Bowyer’s task to decide on the right way of setting them up and stick to it. Too many changes, not just with personnel but formation, are bound to unsettle an evolving group still trying to build some rhythm.

He possesses the most coveted front pair in the division but City are yet to get the best out of them.

Seeing James Vaughan dropping deeper to hunt for the ball highlighted the lack of service that he and Clayton Donaldson were getting. Give them the ball more and see the havoc they will create.

The fear they can inflict on a defence was evident with the goal that never was in the first half.

Donaldson’s presence panicked Eddie Nolan into a blind back-pass straight to Vaughan in the Crewe box – only for the assistant’s flag to cut off the celebrations with his strike partner punished for returning from an offside position.

But Vaughan did notch his third goal of the campaign just after the half hour.

Devitt, one of several passengers in City’s extra-manned midfield, suddenly burst into life with a clever curling shot that Will Jaaskelainen managed to tip onto the underside of the bar.

As the ball bounced down on the line, there was Vaughan to pounce on the rebound and City appeared to be up and running.

But the fans' euphoria in the wonderfully-named Ice Cream Vans stand would soon melt away.

The warning signs had already been flashing at the other end as Crewe exploited the space left behind right wing-back Mellor.

Charlie Kirk and Paul Green had both spotted the opportunities in that corridor of uncertainty between Mellor and Anthony O’Connor.

Richard O’Donnell denied Green in the box and then Kirk raced clear only to get his angles wrong and beat the far post.

The shock of going behind seemed to sharpen Crewe’s attacking resolve. Rather than pressing home their advantage, the Bantams found themselves on the back foot.

Ben Richards-Everton headed a looping effort from Kirk off the line but Crewe were deservedly level before the break.

Kirk made up for his earlier miss with another carbon-copy breakaway after Hope Akpan had coughed up possession midway inside the Crewe half.

O’Connor was still upfield and City totally exposed as Ryan Wintle launched a long ball for Kirk to slide past O’Donnell.

Crewe came out firing from the restart; the visitors stuttering in comparison.

O’Donnell flicked over Kirk’s shot through a crowd of bodies and Green slashed wide from similar penalty-area pressure.

But a Crewe second seemed inevitable and arrived on the hour from a sweet left-footed strike by Tom Lowery.

The ease with which he shrugged off a half-hearted challenge from Akpan, though, to find room to take aim was alarming.

Having started the game with some intent, Akpan’s personal display had once more drifted away. Surely his starting slot is Cooke’s for the taking once the Peterborough man is deemed ready for full participation.

The joint arrival of Cooke and Pritchard did stir City into a response and there were enough chances to have salvaged some reward.

Pritchard’s was among a clutch of late opportunities, Donaldson’s flick header wide, Anthony O’Connor’s deflected drive and a close-range header just over from namesake Paudie.

But a second setback in eight days poses more questions which Bowyer must answer.