MARK Bower says it would be the biggest achievement of his career if he can keep Bradford (Park Avenue) up this season.

Avenue, who entertain Altrincham tomorrow, are bottom of the Vanarama National League North on just nine points and Bower admits survival would be bigger than reaching the play-offs in 2017/18 and 2018/19.

Bower feels his side have not had much luck over the last couple of months and have deserved more points from some battling performances.

The former Bradford City player said: "I think survival would be better than getting to the play-offs.

"We've had a few players leave without warning and our goal difference is miles behind everyone else's, which tells its own story.

"We started so far behind everyone else this season that, if we can stay up, it would be the biggest achievement for me so far."

Bower has also backed young guns Alex Hurst and Lewis Knight to shine in his side's toughest battle yet, but admits that key staff members will be just as important if they want to avoid the drop.

Bower said: "Alex got the goal that killed it off in the FA Trophy against Gloucester and I want more of that from him.

"He gets into great areas but he needs to make sure he keeps producing that end pass or goal.

"Lewis was doing great last season and I expect big things from him. He has great potential if he keeps fit and he showed that with the run for that first goal against King's Lynn (Town)."

Bower is pleased to have his trusty lieutenants Danny Boshell and Ryan Toulson alongside him, admitting that the two coaches are vital figures in his side's fight for survival.

"We were down to the barest of bones at Gloucester in the FA Trophy with 12 players, so we had to sign Bosh (Boshell) on as an emergency.

"Tully (Toulson) is back on the backroom staff but he came in for that game too and helped us keep our first clean sheet in a long time.

"He can improve them on the pitch and he was pleased to get involved. But we work well off the pitch together too.

"The pair of them are not afraid to disagree with me on the most important things either, whether that be formation, recruitment or selection.

"They've been at other clubs too so have a different range of contacts to myself."

Meanwhile, a programme and badge fair will be held on Sunday, December 8, at Horsfall Stadium's social club between 10am and 1pm.

Six dealers will be buying and selling programmes. Entrance is £1 for adults and free for children, who will receive a free programme from the team of their choice.