THREE losses on the bounce have effectively killed off City’s outside chances of making the play-offs.

Here’s a few talking points from last night’s disappointment against Tranmere at Valley Parade.


Tranmere keeper Joe Murphy did not have a single save to make in a “must-win” game for City.

But the man who loves to shoot from anywhere was once again a spectator on the bench.

Danny Rowe has not played a single minute in the last two games as the play-off bandwagon has come off the road.

Mark Trueman felt there was no need to change the balance of City’s set-up last night and did not want to take off Andy Cook’s aerial presence.

But you can understand if Rowe is becoming frustrated that he cannot get on the pitch – especially when Clayton Donaldson was thrown on in stoppage time.


Mark Trueman’s claim that City had “dominated” the game did not stack up against the failure to register a single shot directly on goal.

The possession stats backed up his reasoning that the Bantams bossed possession. But what did they achieve with it?

Most of their time on the ball was spent in the middle of the pitch, not threatening the banks of white shirts who comfortably defended their one-goal advantage. City might have delivered plenty of crosses but there were very few concerns for Tranmere.


Sam Hornby’s return in the City goal after an eight-game absence showed that the management duo do not have a clear number one in their minds.

When Richard O’Donnell came back after the Carlisle defeat, most fans expected the skipper to keep the shirt for the rest of the season.

But Hornby’s better distribution has earned him another crack at the role – and a late opportunity to push his claims for a new contract in the summer.


Ollie Crankshaw seems to have rediscovered his spark after a dip in form and showed the impact that a sub can have with his livewire display at Harrogate that earned him a start on Tuesday.

Now City need to get Charles Vernam revved up again. His deadline-day signing was hailed as a bit of a coup and he hit the ground running.

But he has been nowhere near as effective in recent appearances and is yet to nail down the regular starting role he was expected to occupy.


The maths suggest City are still in with a slight shout but realistically a seven-point gap to seventh with four games left is a bridge too far, especially with several better-placed teams in the way.

It feels a real anti-climax given the great form that had powered the Bantams up the division.

But the Bantams bosses cannot afford the final couple of weeks of the season to just drift.

There is a growing frustration among fans at not making the most of their “free hit” at the play-offs and a weak finish would only build the pressure for when the crowd is allowed back.