STUART McCall felt that a weight has been lifted off City after their first win in nine games.

Shay McCartan scored twice and Lee Novak grabbed his second goal in as many appearances as the Bantams came from behind against Stevenage at Valley Parade.

The 3-1 victory over the bottom side – with all three goals coming in the second half - was City’s first since New Year’s Day.

McCall said: “From the outset today, we had to make sure we didn’t get outfought and didn’t let Stevenage want it more than us because they are fighting for survival. We had to show it means just as much.

“There was a concern all day about the pitch but thankfully the wind didn’t come and it wasn’t too bad.

“They went with the extra centre half and it’s always difficult to break down, particularly on a tricky surface and a group that’s not feeling great about themselves confidence-wise.

“It all boiled down to quite a tense game and then to make it even worse we went a goal behind.”

McCartan was one of four changes from the 1-1 draw against Grimsby in McCall’s opening game back in charge.

He lined up on the left of midfield but the City boss wanted him to get further forward and drift in to support the front men.

“We asked Shay to play more as a striker,” added McCall. “He got his chance in the first half for being up near Novak not out wide.

“We had Dylan (Mottley-Henry) with natural width on the right and we wanted Shay to come and play inside. We tried to emphasise that to him at half-time.

“The first goal came from a mistake by their boy but it was a brilliant finish.

“Again, that was something driving me mad at half-time. How many times have we smashed it over the bar like we did on Saturday?

“Then Shay showed exactly what we needed, a little bit of composure and accuracy. You don’t have to blast it.

“The second goal was another terrific goal. Woody (Connor Wood) put in a great ball and we’re trying to get at least four players in the box, certainly at home, and Shay’s made the run for the finish.

“Then I was delighted to see the last one go in at the end just to kill it.

“We know there’s a lot of work to be done and to improve on. But that will do them the world of good.

“To come back from one down against a team fighting for their lives at the bottom is a credit to the players.”