STUART McCall had no complaints about City’s efforts after Cheltenham condemned them to a fourth straight loss.

The Bantams remain just two points off the League Two drop zone following last night’s 2-1 defeat at Valley Parade.

But McCall felt it was a harsh result against the team in second considering the injury issues that meant another reshuffle of personnel.

The City boss, who gave a full league debut to teenage midfielder Kian Scales, said: “I’m absolutely gutted for the players. It’s a cruel game.

“We asked them to play a different way at 5.15pm. We tried to be solid and be as big as we could be because we knew long throws, free-kicks and corners would cause problems.

“We tried to carry a threat and I thought we were terrific when we were fresh and energetic.

“You certainly can’t point the finger at the players for attitude and application and giving everything they had. The spirit was very good.

“We’re up against it at the minute. But the spirit and togetherness and desire was all there against a really good side.”

Clayton Donaldson headed City in front with his fifth goal of the season but Cheltenham equalised just before half-time with a deflected effort from Alfie May to wrong-foot Richard O’Donnell.

“To lose a goal like we did just before half-time with a deflection that otherwise would have gone into Rich’s hands was so cruel,” added McCall.

“We were a bit spooked for 10-15 minutes (at the start of the second half). We lost communication and I think it affected us losing that goal.”

Cheltenham won it through substitute Chris Clements after City failed to deal with Ben Tozer’s long throw-in – a threat that McCall felt his team had dealt with well up to that point.

“The players gave everything - I don’t think we could have got any more out of them.

“I thought the effort deserved a point – and it would have been a good one for a side who are struggling like us playing against a team that are flying.”