SEVEN of Bradford (Park Avenue)'s nine National League North wins so far this season have been at home, and manager Mark Bower is not overly surprised.

They are back at Horsfall tomorrow to take on mid-table Curzon Ashton, who would perhaps be wise to play some of their more technical players if they want to come away with anything from the game.

Bower said: "If you take a look at the teams that have beaten us at home this season, like Fylde, York and Gateshead, they're passing teams.

"They prefer our 3G compared to some of the other pitches in the league, or what Horsfall was like three or four years ago.

"In a way, having this surface has been a disadvantage against those better teams, but we've also come up against quite a few direct sides, who've found it difficult, and we've largely had good results against them.

"Home form is important and it has been part of our recruitment over the last couple of summers, knowing we'd have over half of our games on 3G pitches in this league, we wanted to get in a different type of player, who would suit that surface.

"That's helped us beat a lot of those teams in and around us in the league and allowed us to re-evaluate our position in the table."

Avenue are currently 16th in the 22-team table, but Curzon, who are traditional strugglers, are doing even better, sitting 12th with at least a game in hand on every team above them.

Bower mused: "The past couple of years there has been more investment at Curzon, and the calibre of player has gone up.

"They paid a fee a few weeks ago to sign (striker) Tom Peers from Altrincham for example, which isn't usually what happens at this level.

"I've been at Avenue since 2016, and we've never paid money to sign anyone.

"But this just shows their ambition to get higher up the table.

"In the past, they've done well on a low budget, but now they've brought in a few proven players at this level, and they'll feel they can challenge for the play-offs.

"They've just had a couple of defeats in a row, but I don't think it's anything more than a blip."

Touching upon former Bradford City winger Dylan Mottley-Henry signing a new deal at Avenue until the end of next season, Bower said: "We always want to keep that core of lads who know what's expected of them here.

"Dylan's only just started on that journey with us, but he's shown week in, week out, that he can help us.

"He's shown commitment on his short-term deal earlier in the season so we're delighted to have him longer term now."

Mottley-Henry will be raring to go against Curzon, as will the returning Jordan Windass.

Bower said: "Jordan was out for a while with his injury, then he picked up an illness.

"But with Mitch Lund out injured for Fylde last week, Ryan Toulson coming off in the first half, and Lucas Odunston already needed in midfield, we had to bring Jordan on before half-time, before he was ready.

"But that game time will have done him the world of good ahead of Curzon, and though Tully (Toulson) will probably miss out this weekend, not having had a game midweek should allow us to bring back Lundy, Oli Johnson and Lewis Knight from injury."