JAKE Reeves – and City – could not have wished for a more convincing comeback performance after his marathon stint on the sidelines.

The midfielder played with authority and got stuck in from the start in a very encouraging 62-minute return.

Gary Bowyer is right to tread cautiously given the length of his absence but Reeves can be a strong addition to the squad with so much of the season still to play.


The controversial decisions to add Premier League under-21 sides and bring in group stages has made an unpopular competition even more unpalatable for fans.

Having set a new Valley Parade attendance low against Manchester City’s academy in September, the gate of just 761 for Rochdale’s visit was an embarrassment.

It was the third three-figure home crowd for the Bantams in 14 months – all in the EFL Trophy.


Nobody likes to lose, especially in a game when City had the bulk of the chances but were denied by Rochdale’s excellent stopper Jay Lynch.

Progress in the Leasing.com Trophy can make money but Bowyer’s Bantams have bigger fish to fry.

With league games at Macclesfield and Colchester still to be rearranged as well as next week’s FA Cup first-round replay against Shrewsbury, not having to shoehorn another fixture into an increasingly-busy schedule is no bad thing.


George Sykes-Kenworthy’s shaky performance showed that Richard O’Donnell is not under much immediate pressure for his starting spot in goal.

With Sam Hornby currently on loan at AFC Fylde, the youngster has been the back-up from the bench. But he looked unconvincing when given a starting chance.

The rejuvenated O’Donnell continues to perform in a commanding fashion this season, which will be a relief for Bowyer given that nobody is really pushing his regular stopper.


It took a long time to get the deal over the line but Chris Taylor's delayed arrival at Valley Parade could prove a timely one.

City are facing a busy middle of the season with midweek games to fit in and will need all hands to the pump.

Taylor's versatility will prove extremely useful as he gives Bowyer options to play out wide, central midfield or even as a number 10.

With Reeves also back in the frame, the Bantams have a couple of handy reinforcements to call on.