THE clocks had just changed, pumpkins were still in the windows and the guy on the bonfire remained untouched.

It’s been that long since City last hosted league action.

Newport’s visit to Valley Parade on Saturday will mark five weeks since Exeter provided the long-distance opposition on November 2.

The Bantams won 2-0 that day, a fourth victory in five, to continue a run that lifted them up to second.

Finally back at base camp, Gary Bowyer will be hoping those home comforts can revive their currently patchy form.

“It’s been a bit crazy how it has worked out,” he admitted. “But our last home game was Exeter and we managed to put in a good performance and get the result.

“That will be something that we’ll be looking to repeat and we’ll need the fans again.

“The home support, like I’ve said all season, has been massive.”

Opposite number Michael Flynn is assured of a good reception from the crowd when he takes his place in the Newport dug-out. Bowyer has no problem with a former City favourite receiving such a positive reaction.

He said: “As long as people conduct themselves honestly and properly, footballers should get a decent reception when they go back.

“It’s like the world has gone mad now when people score against their old clubs and don’t celebrate.

“Yet if he’s given everything for that club and then gone to a new one, why shouldn’t he? You work so hard for a goal.

“It’s not being disrespectful because you gave that previous club all the service.

“The last home game, the Exeter manager had been here and our fans showed their appreciation. That’s a measure of our supporters and their class.”

Bowyer has his own fond memories of Newport’s Jamille Matt from their time at Blackpool when the striker refused to go off injured in a game against Doncaster.

“We needed to win to push into the play-offs and we’d used all our subs,” said the City boss. “He pulled his hamstring but wouldn’t come off.

“It was an unbelievable act of being a team player. He just stood in the middle of the pitch.

“We managed to get a ball in the box and he was a nuisance just with one leg. It led to the penalty which we scored to win the game.

“With that attitude he will come to fight for every ball.”