GARY Bowyer is hoping the imminent return of Jamie Devitt can provide the creative spark City are lacking.

The Bantams boss is looking to arrange a game behind closed doors to give the midfielder a run-out.

Devitt is bursting to be involved after coming back to training just before Christmas from his serious hamstring tendon injury.

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But Bowyer wants to see him in match action first before unleashing a player he believes possesses the knack to unlock defences.

Bowyer said: “I think we’ve got a game sorted to get some minutes on the pitch and we’ll see how he goes from there.

“He’s trained with us now for three weeks in the group and is hungry to be involved.

“He just needs to tick the boxes and make sure he gets through a good 45 minutes to an hour playing football. Then we’ll see how he recovers after that.

“Training is training and you can’t replicate that situation of actually playing a game.

“He’s a player who can open up defences and in the last couple of games we haven’t been able to do enough of that.”

City’s 2-1 loss at Crawley at the weekend was their first defeat since November after an eight-game unbeaten run.

But goals remain at a premium and Bowyer was frustrated at the way his side were unable to turn good possession into attacking chances.

City have had only eight attempts on target in the last four games, two of them penalties, although they have converted five of those.

Devitt, who has been out for over four months since getting injured against Bolton, had scored 22 goals and claimed 12 assists in the previous two seasons.

City have also missed Harry Pritchard, who has been sidelined since pulling up with a recurrence of his back problem while warming up at Carlisle on Boxing Day.

He continues to make progress and Bowyer is aiming to have him “back out on the grass” this week.

Having brought back Eoin Doyle, there is no imminent activity expected in the transfer window – although Bowyer is aware how quickly that can change.

“Experience always tells you, you can’t just say, ‘that’s it and I’ll just crack on’. Then suddenly something comes out of the side door that you didn’t see happening and you have to react.

“We’re constantly looking and in contact with people for ins and not necessarily outs, but you have to be reactive if somebody suddenly offered money for a player that the club couldn’t turn down.”

Left back Jackson Longridge was allowed to join National League side Torquay on a month’s loan last week having been unable to budge Connor Wood.

But Bowyer has no immediate plans to send out any of the other players currently on the fringes.

“We always want competition and you’ve seen the value of the squad this year with the amount of injuries and illnesses that we’ve had.”