MARK Trueman was encouraged to see City’s fighting spirit in their 1-1 draw at Crawley last night.

The Bantams picked up their first league point in six games two days after Stuart McCall and assistant Kenny Black were sacked.

Academy coaches Trueman and Conor Sellars took charge at the Broadfield Stadium – and were pleased with the response from the team.

Trueman said: “It’s always the first thing you think of when you step in as a caretaker manager. You wonder how the players will react to you.

“They’ve taken to us really well and taken on board what we’ve asked from them.

“The fans want to see fight, desire and commitment. It’s very cliched but it’s true.

“I want to see us play and build from the back as much as anybody else. But at this time we just needed a solid performance which we got.

“I’m sure the fans will be happy with how the players reacted.”

Lee Novak’s fifth goal of the season gave City the lead before Harry Pritchard headed into his own net to equalise. Crawley and 15-goal striker Max Watters failed to register a shot on target.

Trueman added: “We knew the threat of the front two but we kept them quiet. We were nice and compact and hard to play through.

“The players have competed and put their bodies on the line at the end to stop crosses and make blocks.

“I thought they performed really well. They stuck to the game plan.

“We went with the two in the middle to give us a bit more structure and protection structurally and the early goal really gave us that belief and confidence.

“Conceding was the biggest test for us and how they would react. People like Novak, Paudie (O’Connor) and Ant (O’Connor) picked them back up and organised them really well.

“I asked the players at half-time to settle down a little bit more. When they did win the second ball and looked to play, I thought we could create more chances and we did.

“We had good chances second half for Pritchard and Novak, which was what we looked for.”

McCall and Black both texted Trueman before the game to wish him all the best.

“It’s obviously been crazy for everybody and I didn’t manage to call the gaffer but both Stuart and Kenny have been in contact.

“It was nice of them to do that and I’m glad that the players have got a result for the club.”