RYAN Sparks wishes City’s new management duo could receive the Valley Parade fanfare they deserve tonight.

The Bantams aim to continue their charge up League Two when they face Leyton Orient.

It is the first game since Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars were officially confirmed as joint bosses but again it will be played in front of empty stands.

The latest government “road map” out of lockdown hints that football crowds will not be able to return before May 17 at the earliest.

City chief executive Sparks admits it is hard on the two at the helm who have transformed fortunes since succeeding Stuart McCall.

He said: “The fans are very good at getting behind people. We’re an underdog city and this team has performed so many underdog triumphs – Chelsea, Arsenal, you name it.

“I just think how wonderful it would be for them to feel that moment and put it in the locker and keep it. Those are the bits that nobody can take away from you.

“I do feel for them on that.

“I know we’re in a really tough situation and none of us want to rush the gates open. It would be catastrophic and I would rather get next season right.

“I do think of the tough times I’ve had in the stadium and some of the nicer days. I’ve seen some real crowds and fantastic atmospheres even when things haven’t been going too well.

“At some point, whether it’s this season or next, I do hope they get that reception even if it’s just the once. I’m sure they’ll like it.

“They do deserve it because they’ve pulled this club out of the mire.”

An eighth win in 12 games in the Trueman and Sellars era for City, who could have Billy Clarke back in contention, would lift them into the top half of the table.

They have been rewarded with an initial 16-month deal until the end of next season – although Sparks is confident the coaches promoted from the academy will take the club beyond that.

Trueman and Sellars both praised the way the squad have “bought into their beliefs” and given them full respect from the start.

Sellars said: “You’ve got to get that respect straight away and hopefully that’s come from our work ethic and what we’re putting into Bradford City in terms of style of play.

“We’re asking the players to be organised and know their roles and responsibilities and we’ve had really good feedback. Everybody is in same boat and we feel we’re all moving in a positive direction.

“Earning respect is a big thing. With us two, we’ve not had that track record in the past of earning success at that level.

“So, you’ve got to go in and impress people. Hopefully we’ve done that and gained respect in that way.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Conor Sellars and Mark Trueman with chief executive Ryan Sparks, right, at yesterday's press conference Conor Sellars and Mark Trueman with chief executive Ryan Sparks, right, at yesterday's press conference

“We started our coaching journey a long time ago and we've been able to try out our methods and through our coaching careers keep on developing ourselves and getting better.

“We find ourselves in this position and we'll have the passion and drive to make it a success.”

The players were informed about the appointment on Sunday night and Trueman insisted it was business as usual at training.

“Nothing has changed,” he said. “We just carried on as normal but the stability is good for them as well.

"It’s always different when a new manager comes in and changes the way they work.”

Giving Trueman and Sellars a permanent chance means that City have the youngest managerial regime in the league.

Sparks, who is 29 like Sellars and four years younger than Trueman, has dismissed the age question as irrelevant.

He believes their appointment shows the culture that is being built within the club – and hopes it will become a familiar pattern.

“I make no secret of the fact that the next under-18s coach at this club will be someone who could potentially be the next Bradford City manager,” he added. “We would like to have that internal pathway.

“We want a little bit more structure and stability. It reminds people that you have quality within.

“If people don’t have opportunities in life then who knows. We could have lost Mark and Conor to another club and never known their true capabilities.

“It’s a reminder that you do need a shot in life.”