CALLUM Cooke is hoping to resume normal service with Stuart McCall’s return to the Valley Parade helm.

Cooke thought he had his first goal in a City shirt in the 1-1 draw with Grimsby – only for it be awarded to Lee Novak after a faint deflection on the way through.

But the midfielder has no dispute that there will be more to come after returning to a more natural position under the new boss.

Gary Bowyer had been using Cooke in a deeper role as the team’s “quarterback” but the on-loan Peterborough man feels far more at home pushing further forward.

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Cooke said: “I can remember when I first came in, I said that was my game, getting forwards, getting shots away and getting goals and assists.

“But I had to change my game before and I was playing a lot deeper.

“Gary Bowyer, the old gaffer, liked to play with one sitting in front of the back four trying to make things happen.

“I didn’t have a problem with that because ultimately I was still playing.

“But personally I want to be doing my damage a bit further forward. That’s my natural game.

“With Stuart McCall coming in, it’s given me a bit more of a licence to get forward. Hopefully I should start to see a few more goals come my way.”

Novak cheekily thanked Cooke on social media for his assist as the striker opened his account for the Bantams.

Cooke laughed: “I still want to claim but I think Lee Novak has other ideas, unfortunately.

“I thought I had my first. It was probably going in anyway.

“I’ve watched the video back 100 times and I still can’t believe he’s claiming it. But any striker will want to take that and he’s scraped one.

“Stuart has given me a bit more of a licence to get up there. I just need to keep getting in and around the box and hopefully the goals will come.”

Cooke admitted Grimsby’s equaliser came as a “kick in the teeth” but he noticed the immediate change in atmosphere as McCall came back for his third spell in charge.

“You saw what the stadium was like on Saturday,” he added. “When we were stood in the tunnel beforehand, it did really hit me.

“He’s a club legend, there are pictures in the canteen at the training ground and he’s got a suite named after him at the ground.

“You see how much he means to the club and everybody involved at Bradford City.

“To have him back and play under him has given everybody a lift.

“I know he’s only been back a few days but you can feel the difference.”

“We were all shocked to hear the news about Gary Bowyer. We all did love him and it was a shame how things happened.

“But we all know football is a results business and unfortunately he lost his job.

“As players, we looked at ourselves and did feel a bit guilty. I dropped him a text and wished him all the best for the next chapter of his life.

“The new gaffer has come in and has not had the chance to get all his ideas across because it’s been a short time frame.

“He just told us to go out and play our normal game and enjoy it. He’s tried to just give us an injection of confidence.

“It’s no wins in eight games now. We have to be honest and say that’s not good enough.

“I still don’t think we created enough on Saturday but we’ve got this game at Valley Parade now, so hopefully we can put things right then.”

Stevenage have lost their last four and sit five points adrift at the bottom. Cooke warned: “They are fighting for their lives and obviously every point they pick up is crucial.

“But we have to believe in ourselves. Do that and I’m confident we can get the three points.”