MARK Bower says the existing Bradford (Park Avenue) squad will be given an opportunity to impress after he returned as manager.

The former Bradford City defender, who led Avenue to two successive play-off battles, has returned to the Horsfall Stadium just five months after leaving the club after a three-year spell at the helm.

Since then Avenue have had two men in charge, Garry Thompson and then interim manager Marcus Law.

Recharged and refreshed, Bower is looking to shape his squad quickly as he targets survival for his side, who are second-from-bottom in the Vanarama National League North after just one win from their opening 12 games.

The 39-year-old said: "I'm pleased to be back involved, but it's not the circumstances I would have wanted.

"I want to help the club and move it away from the bottom.

"It's a bigger challenge this time around because of all of the disruption in terms of recruitment and changing things around.

"I think the target to stay up is doable. That's why I'm here.

"It's going to be tough. There will be some difficult days. I have to make sure we have a team that's resilient, with a bit of experience in there that can ride the waves.

"There is a quarter of the season gone. It's more spread out now, so there is more time to work with the players. We need to get a system and get a way of working which allows our young players to flourish."

Avenue have a blank weekend coming up, so Bower will make his return to the dugout for their home date with Hereford on October 12.

In between he will have the chance to assess his squad during training.

He added: "Having a free weekend now gives me a chance to take a look at the players, their ability and their attitude, their discipline and desire to do well. I have to make a judgement about them pretty quickly.

"We need to build momentum and confidence as soon as possible.

"When I took over last time we were at the bottom of the league and everyone was saying we needed to get rid of the squad, but 18 months later the same players were playing in a play-off semi-final.

"I want players who are committed to do well for the club. There is a chance in training this week for them to show me."

Bower also had praise for Avenue fans and hopes he can given them plenty to cheer about.

He added: "The supporters have been suffering a bit this season. We want to put smiles on people's faces again. I want them to stay with us. We need to get the bond back between supporters and players.

"It's important that everyone is onside and pulling in the same direction."