ONE game left for the season and, for a significant chunk of the dressing room, probably one final one as a City player.

The contracts of 12 of the current squad expire soon after the curtain comes down against Carlisle.

Others may only be halfway through their deals but could still fall by the wayside depending on the size of shake-up that Mark Hughes has planned.

After a season that has fallen dismally short of expectations, those shown the exit door – or given a hefty shove in that direction – can have few grumbles.

Another summer of dressing-room upheaval awaits and once again you won’t find a supporter who doesn’t feel it is the only course of appropriate action.

But put yourself in Hughes’ shoes. Who of the dozen without a deal for next season would you try to keep?

The manager has dropped the occasional hint but is mostly keeping a very tight lid on his plans for now.

Here’s my take on who should stay and go as we brace ourselves for the latest reshuffle.


The longest-serving player in the squad has experienced City’s tough times since joining in 2018 during the brief managership of Michael Collins.

O’Donnell has worked under seven different bosses in that time, making 138 appearances.

Having shared goalkeeping duties in the second half of last season with Sam Hornby, he was reinstated as number one by Derek Adams but lost his place at the end of November – and has not played since.

Verdict: Go


The lifelong Bantams fan grabbed the chance for a second spell at the club when he left Hartlepool at the end of the January transfer window.

The right back has been a regular in the team since, playing with commitment and a willingness to get forward when he can. It is a very tough one to call.

You would expect Oscar Threlkeld to be moved on, even with a year on his deal left. But with Finn Cousin-Dawson on contract for two more years and teenager Harvey Rowe making big strides in the under-19s, Mark Hughes has enough back-up in that role should he look to bring in a new starter instead of Hendrie.

Verdict: Go


The Irishman, like O’Donnell, has been one of the fixtures in the dressing room since signing initially on loan for David Hopkin in January 2019.

He has been a strong presence in the heart of the defence with well over 100 games under his belt and has worn the captain’s armband with pride.

But the red mist will descend at times and can affect his judgement in talking himself into trouble or making a rash challenge. If he can cut that out, then he surely will play higher.

O’Connor has been linked with outside interest before and it may do his career good to make a fresh start elsewhere.

Verdict: Go

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: There have been rumours before of higher-level clubs watching Paudie O'ConnorThere have been rumours before of higher-level clubs watching Paudie O'Connor


Clayton-born Foulds won over Derek Adams with his whole-hearted approach and the left back has also had his opportunity since Mark Hughes took charge.

Foulds clearly loves the chance to play for his hometown club and that enthusiasm shows on the pitch. He likes to get stuck in and will always try to join the attack.

A good rival for Liam Ridehalgh in that position, I feel he has done enough to justify another contract.

Verdict: Stay


The versatile midfielder has had a mixed time since Stuart McCall brought him back to Valley Parade at the start of last season.

Given a fresh chance in the summer by Derek Adams, despite their history, Evans was involved early in the campaign before again finding himself out the picture.

He was given another clean slate when Mark Hughes came in, scoring the first goal under the Welshman against Swindon, but has not pushed on in recent appearances.

Verdict: Go


Watt is probably the most technically gifted player in the squad and Mark Hughes seems to be bringing out the best in him.

The midfielder has been given more responsibility with City’s passing style looking to play through him now rather than over his head as was often the case with Derek Adams.

There will be competition for his signature and the Bantams would be entitled to compensation because of his age. But they would rather hang on to a talent who would be a key figure if Hughes can bring in better players around him next season.

Verdict: Stay


Every team needs a Sutton who is prepared to run all game for the cause. He has not looked quite the same player in recent games but the energetic, fiercely-competitive midfielder is still a useful addition to the squad.

Sutton is the closest City have to a box-to-box player and has shown that he can be effective in the penalty area, finishing off a slickly-worked team goal at Tranmere.

Verdict: Stay


Cooke has had various roles under various managers since Gary Bowyer got him from Peterborough in 2019.

An undoubtedly skilful player, he has not really backed that up with the assists and goals that he always talks about adding to his game.

A change of scenery might be best for both parties.

Verdict: Go


The niggling injuries have held back Vernam, who carries the biggest attacking threat in the team.

The winger can go both ways and is always willing to have a shot – providing a much-needed cutting edge to a side that has struggled to score goals.

Having come from League One, Vernam may feel he can play at a higher level again and recent red-hot displays will only drum up interest.

But City will be hoping that Hughes can sweet-talk him into buying into their own ambitions for next season.

Verdict: Stay


It has been a hugely-frustrating season for Angol after two lengthy absences with injured hamstrings.

That is the red flag about deciding whether to keep him. Fitness aside, he has shown a quality in his play which is better than League Two.

Definitely worth another punt but it should be something incentivised based with his troubled recent history.

Verdict: Stay


Opportunities have been limited for the Canadian, who works hard on the pitch but has not really made an impact as a back-up striker.

Verdict: Go


Scored an absolute “worldy” at Swindon in October but hasn’t kicked on.

Signed right at the end of the August window, it appeared a panic move to fill a space and the well-travelled frontman has been on the fringes ever since.

Verdict: Go