MARK Trueman is backing City’s big characters to help them bounce straight back from his first defeat.

The Bantams kick off a run of five successive midweek matches tomorrow with a rearranged visit to Scunthorpe – if it can survive the bad weather.

They will head to Glanford Park again, looking to get Saturday’s loss at Exeter straight out the system.

It was their first in nine games under Trueman and Conor Sellars – but the interim boss is confident there will be no lingering effects.

Trueman said: “We’ve got ourselves in a better place than we were. When you go on a run that long, you don’t want it to end.

“But that has to happen sometime and it’s now about how we react to that.

“We know we underperformed but don’t take anything away from Exeter because they are a good team.

“It’s been mentioned about how the team will respond and us as well.

“But straight away after myself and Conor had spoken in the dressing room, you could see that was the mindset of the leaders and the main characters.

“They want to respond. We’ll play a part and so will the more experienced players.

“We’ll dust ourselves down and be ready for the game. Fingers crossed it’s going to be on.”

Trueman’s troops can expect reinforcements – with three of those missing from the weekend likely to be fit.

Gareth Evans and Andy Cook hope to recover from their slight knocks and Danny Rowe should be over the heavy cold that prevented him from travelling. Only Billy Clarke is still out with a hamstring injury.

Rowe’s absence meant a late reshuffle at St James Park – with Charles Vernam leading the attack.

Trueman added: “Rowey woke up feeling ill so we had to quickly adapt and make a decision.

“Obviously with the Covid situation, we couldn’t take a risk on him travelling down on the coach for so long.

“We had Clayts (Clayton Donaldson) but decided to go with Vernam because of his movement in behind (the defence) and he got the goal from it. But we do see strengths in Charles playing in more of a wide area for us.

“We’ll see about Rowey for Scunthorpe. We managed him straight away by keeping him at home and made sure he was speaking to the doctor.

“He had to have a test but that came back negative, which was good news.”

Ollie Crankshaw, who signed a few hours after Vernam on deadline day, also marked his City debut with a goal in the 3-2 loss and shares Trueman’s confidence that it will only prove a blip.

The former Wigan winger said: “We’re frustrated but with the players we’ve got leading us out, I’m sure we can go on another run.

“It was a bittersweet moment for me.

“I was really proud to make my Bradford City debut and obviously get a goal to help the team. It’s just unlucky that we didn’t get anything.

“The managers and the lads have really taken Charles and I in, right from the first day.

“Charles ran his socks off. He was class up there and caused the defenders massive problems.

“Hopefully together we can get some more goals.

“Bradford City is a massive club for me.

“I just wanted to develop as a player and play as much as possible. Game time this year has been short for me so this was the right decision.

“It has obviously been difficult at Wigan but I think those running the club there are doing everything they can to pull through. I really hope they do because they are great people.”