LEE Novak has reiterated his wish to stay at City but admits the decision is out of his hands.

The striker came through his first start since undergoing a knee operation in January – the first time he had gone under the knife in his career.

The Bantams have confirmed they will not be making any decisions on the out-of-contract players until after the final game of the season at promotion-chasing Morecambe.

Novak, who played 72 minutes of Saturday’s dour draw against Scunthorpe, is one of the 14 members of the squad whose deals are up and are still waiting for news.

He said: “I’d love to be part of what the management and Ryan (Sparks) are building. That has not changed.

“I can say hand on heart that I would love to still be here. But that’s not down to me.

“If the club want to do it at the end of the season then that’s up to them. That’s football and every club’s different.

“I’ve been at teams previously where lads have been told they’re not wanted and just downed tools. We don’t want to do that.

“We’ve got a good group here and want to keep going. Morecambe have got a lot to play for next week, so we want to go there and spoil their party.”

After two sub appearances against Port Vale and Salford on his return, Novak was delighted to be back in City’s starting line-up for the first time since the end of December.

He revealed that being out of action for so much of the season had hit him hard.

“I’ve never had a major injury like this or an operation before, so it was obviously a bit of a shock to the system.

“It was probably the worst part of my career from when it happened to now. There’s no hiding the fact it was tough, mentally and physically.

“It’s been a long time and a lot of stress on the body but I’ve just got to thank the physios for the treatment they’ve given me since I had the op. They are still doing their utmost to keep me in top form.

“It’s really good on a personal level to start a game again after being out for so long. It was huge to get through it.

“A defender’s studs caught me on the knee but I didn’t know a thing about it and felt absolutely fine.”

The goalless stalemate with third-from-bottom Scunthorpe meant City failed to score in their final four home games. Novak was frustrated with the performance – and how the results have fallen away.

He added: “We can only look at ourselves for getting from the position we were in when the gaffers came in to within a point or two of the play-offs only to then throw it away.

“I’m one of them that says the table doesn’t lie. You get what you deserve and we’re there because we haven’t done enough.

“Scunthorpe came for the point and did their job – it was probably a fair result. We didn’t do enough going forward to win it.

“They were hanging on for dear life at the end but they also could have nicked it. It was hugely frustrating.

“We’ve got to do more as a team, starting from the goalkeeper all the way through to up front. Whether that’s defending or scoring more goals, we’ve got to be more clinical.

“Hopefully we can end the season on what can still be a positive note next week.”