STUART McCall blamed City’s set-piece shortcomings after their embarrassing Carabao Cup exit to Lincoln.

The Bantams were thumped 5-0 at Valley Parade last night to blow the chance of hosting Liverpool in round three.

They were four down by half-time with the City boss particularly angry to concede twice from free-kicks – despite the height advantage in his team.

McCall was equally frustrated that they failed to score themselves from numerous corner opportunities.

He said: “The bottom line for us having all that height and physicality is that we’ve let them score from where we should have been dangerous with two free-kicks.

“That was probably the biggest side I’ve picked in my career and I’d told the boys that I would be so disappointed if we didn’t score from a set-play.

“There was good quality going in and we needed to show the desire to get on the end of them. They did that with the way they defended their goal.”

City were 2-0 down inside six minutes after Tyler French sliced an attempted clearance from a free-kick into his own net before Lincoln struck again on a counter attack.

The home side did rally from that awful start and Clayton Donaldson should have pulled one back. But his missed chance was immediately followed by a third goal for the Imps from another set-piece – with McCall furious at the defending.

“I genuinely thought we’d get back in it but the third goal is a killer and again it’s from a needless free-kick.

“It was a stupid one to give away and then we don’t defend it. We’ve got six six-footers across the six-yard box and their centre half scores with a volley – not even a header.

“Formations, tactics, that doesn’t matter when you can’t defend two set-plays.

“Their lad was in between three of ours – one of them should head it. For him to score with a volley is criminal with the size of the team.”

McCall subbed French and Ben Richards-Everton at half-time in a bid to avoid further humiliation.

“Paudie (O’Connor) had been booked and it was a case of going to a flat back four to give us a little bit more protection. We had to change the shape.

“You look at how many balls we put in their box in the second half and they defended them with their lives. That was a learning thing for me.

“A huge percentage of goals are scored from set-pieces at our level. It’s not as though we don’t work on them.

“I’m as disappointed that we haven’t scored from a set-piece given the height in the team as with the overall performance.”