ANTHONY O’Connor insists City must find another gear if they hope to gate-crash the play-offs.

The Bantams reduced the gap on Newport in seventh spot to three points with Saturday’s win over Grimsby.

But it was an unconvincing display against League Two’s bottom side, even with a man advantage for the second half after Mariners striker Stefan Payne’s dismissal for headbutting his team-mate Filipe Morais.

O’Connor, who scored the only goal, admits City need to up their game over the remaining seven matches to sneak into the promotion picture.

He said: “All teams are going to be hard to play against but we’re going to have to be bang at it until the end.

“It’s been a hectic season with a lot of Saturday, Tuesday games and very hard on the body. The lads have got to find it within themselves to make that one last push.

“We’re not stupid, we know what’s at stake. We know there’s a play-off place for us if we can really go and grab it.

“Whatever way we can find ways to win games, we’ve got to do that between now and the end of the season.”

City face Crawley at Valley Parade tomorrow as they look to extend a 10-match unbeaten home run. Having got this far, O’Connor believes there is enough strength in depth to cope with the final month with more reinforcements on the way.

“There are still more players to come back into contention,” he added.

“You’ve got the likes of Levi (Sutton), Noves (Lee Novak) is not too far away, Cookey (Callum Cooke) possibly – we’ve got players to give us that bit of freshness.

“It’s been mentally tough as well as physically demanding.

“That’s not just us as footballers but the whole world. It’s been a tough year.

“You’ve not been able to go out and do stuff with your kids, everyone’s been stuck at home.

“It’s been draining but we’ve got to get on with it. No complaining, we’ve got seven games left so let’s go and try and get as many points as we can.”

Saturday’s victory was the 13th in 23 games under joint bosses Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars as City officially confirmed survival – which had been the only aim when the duo first took over in December.

O’Connor said: “Nobody expected us to get to where we are when you think where we came from in October and November time. It was just a case of staying up.

“We knew in the back of our minds that we had good players and could get to a healthy and decent position.

“But I don’t think anyone expected us to be where we are and have a shot at the play-offs. Credit to the lads and staff, we’ve kept pushing.

“In-house we’ve got a target and I think everyone knows that now. We’re mathematically safe – we’ve managed to blow it out the water.

“The target now has got to be the play-offs. If we can give it everything, we can look ourselves in the mirror even if we don’t quite make it.

“It wasn’t a fluent footballing performance and we’d like to have controlled the game better when they were down to 10 men. Yes, we’re going to have to play better in the games coming up to keep taking points. But we found a way to get them.”