BRADFORD (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower wants to ‘upset the odds’ when his side travel down to Gloucester City in the FA Trophy third qualifying round on Sunday.

Avenue will be hoping the cup can offer some light relief after being on a dismal run of form of late, losing five on the bounce, meaning that they sit at the foot of the Vanarama National League North table.

Bradford were knocked out at the first hurdle in the competition last season after suffering a 4-0 defeat at Altrincham, while Gloucester were also victims of an opening round loss at the hands of Biggleswade Town, 3-1.

Bower believes a cup run could aid in the club’s battle to avoid relegation, breeding a culture of winning games.

He said: “It is an opportunity to start a run, confidence is such a fragile thing in football.

“If we can get a win down there and get through we can bring back a bit of feel-good.

“Hopefully it will be the beginning of starting a run in the league. The prize money is massive for us.

“We went down to Gloucester a few weeks ago and had a narrow defeat in that game, so we can go down, compete, and get a win.

“Who knows, cup competitions are filled with stories of teams who have upset the odds, hopefully we can be one of those this year.”

Signings are also on the 22nd-placed side’s agenda as they look to add more bodies to get them out of this rot.

Bower knows it is going to be a tough task to recruit the right players to fit his system but is determined that he can help save the club like he has in previous years.

He added: “We need more players in to help out, we have got something to work with but we need more additions.

“We find it very difficult to get players at this time of year when it is near the Christmas period, a lot of games, and teams are reluctant to let players out.

“We are not in a great position in the league, so we are not the most attractive club.

“We have to keep working to find the right characters, who can turn some of these close games into our favour.”

Bower said: “Three years ago we were in a similar situation, ultimately we managed to get the right players in to keep us safe.

“We can’t afford to waste money on people who aren’t right for us so we will make sure that we do the best we can.”

Since Bower’s re-appointment at the end of September, the former Bradford City player’s sole success remains a 3-2 win over Hereford in his first game in charge.

The poor start continued last weekend, when an early red card led to a 3-0 defeat to the hands of Leamington at Horsfall.

Bower was not impressed by the referee’s performance but thinks the result has taught his squad that in football those things can happen.

He said: “We didn’t start the game very well.

“We conceded after eight minutes, then the penalty and red card incident after nine minutes effectively ends the game.

“With 10 men, 2-0 down and bottom of the league, it is a long way back.

“The referee’s explanation of why he sent the player off bears no resemblance with what we have seen on the footage.

“The lads gave everything they had and managed to create a few chances.

“The last two games have summed up how football can be, lessons can be learned from it.”