MARK Trueman claimed City “dominated” against Tranmere in their 1-0 Valley Parade loss – despite failing to register a single shot on target.

A third defeat in eight days for the Bantams last night leaves them seven points adrift of the last play-off place with four games to go.

They were beaten by a freakish goal just before half-time as Danny Lloyd’s cross flew in off the knee of Paudie O’Connor.

But Trueman said: “We dominated the game. For me, we were the better team for large parts of it.

“I felt more comfortable than I’ve ever felt this season in the way we controlled the game and built up play.

“We’re disappointed in the manner that the goal went in. Goals change games and we’ve conceded first in the last three which has hurt us.

“But we kept on sticking to the game plan and dominating the ball but didn’t find that bit of quality or little bit of luck, like they did, in the final third.

“If we perform like that, we’ll win more games than we lose.”

Billy Clarke went off at half-time as a precaution after picking up a slight injury. But Callum Cooke returned from a 10-game absence when he came on as a sub for the last half hour.

“We’ve always said the goal is to keep the club in the division and then a process of building the team,” added Trueman. “Cookie is going to be a big part of that.

“Callum Cooke will always improve any team in this division and we’re delighted to have him back.

“There was no chance he was going to play the full 90 minutes but we’ll build him up and he’ll be around the team for starting on Saturday.

“We just need to keep doing what we’re doing. I thought we were good but just couldn’t break them down.

“Nine times out of 10 that deflection doesn’t go in and we probably go on and win that game.

“It wasn’t a lack of effort. We were getting crosses into the box but second phases never seemed to drop to us for whatever reason.

“We had chances but didn’t hit the target. That quality we needed from certain individuals just didn’t happen.”

Danny Rowe was left unused on the bench for the second game running.

Trueman said: “We got them pinned back into a low block and put a lot of crosses into the box.

“Andy Cook’s quality of heading is probably better option than Danny Rowe. That’s why we kept Cooky on the pitch.

“We were creating and playing through them. Got into good areas, I felt the team that was out there was performing.

“We were the better team in the structure and shape that we had. We just couldn’t unlock the door.

“I didn’t think changing to two up top was the right decision.”