BRAD Halliday’s effort in a City shirt can never be questioned.

Few, if any, in the team cover more ground than the ever-willing right back.

Hard work and hard running are basic tenets for the most consistent performer of this inconsistent campaign.

Kevin McDonald has stressed the important fundamentals in his early days in the caretaker role. Do the hard yards and the rest will tend to follow.

“It’s a given at this level,” said Halliday. “Regardless of what’s happening, you give 110 per cent – and that’s maybe something we have lacked this season.

“Kev addressed that as soon as he took the caretaker role. He said we needed to look at ourselves and make sure we gave everything.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Kevin McDonald has earned the instant respect of the squadKevin McDonald has earned the instant respect of the squad (Image: Thomas Gadd)

“If you look across the board on Saturday, everyone ran their socks off. The lads went off blowing.

“You look back at games and that hasn’t happened too many times this season.”

It has been an almost back-to-basics approach since McDonald got the surprise nod to take over in the short term after Mark Hughes was sacked six days ago.

READ MORE: McDonald set to pick himself for Trophy group opener

But Halliday admits it has been much needed after a start that has been well below standard.

“It’s not nice when you see someone lose their job.

“Some of the results and performances of late haven’t been good enough. Ultimately that’s why it happened with the manager.

“The changing room have responded to that and we’re going about it in the right way. We know ourselves we haven’t been good enough to a man.

“That’s down to us as individuals. We haven’t done it consistently from the start of the season.

“You could probably argue there were times last season when it was also the case.”

McDonald commands the respect of his team-mates. Halliday says it has done since he first arrived at the club on day one.

“Kev was vocal when he first came in and that leader figure,” he added.

“It hasn’t changed too much. He hasn’t changed a lot of things.

“He said that we’ve all got to look at ourselves as individuals first and foremost and start performing better than we have been. We obviously did that against Swindon.

“He hasn’t come in saying, ‘you need to do this, you need to do that’.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Brad Halliday marks Swindon's Rushian Hepburn-MurphyBrad Halliday marks Swindon's Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (Image: Thomas Gadd)

“It’s conversations we were already having within the dressing room with Kev when the manager was here.

“He put his point across and everyone has the full respect for him because he’s had that career at the top level and really wants to go into this after he has finished playing.

“I think we’ve responded right from the news last week. It’s been great so far.”

City’s top brass are not hurrying to line up a permanent replacement for Hughes.

Targets continue to be identified and whittled down with some interviews expected to be lined up for next week.

But McDonald has impressed with the way he has steadied the ship.

The timescale remains an unknown for now but Halliday, as one of the senior pros, is confident his leadership can bring out the best in the squad.

“For however long Kev’s in charge, we need to make sure our standards remain high and we keep performing game by game.

“It might be a couple of games, it could be five or six, we just don’t know.

“That’s the uncertainty that football brings and moving forward it’s about taking it a game at a time and doing things correctly.

“We know ourselves that we’ve under-performed with the players we’ve got in the dressing room.

“We have to take responsibility for that in ourselves. Ultimately, it cost the manager his job.”

"Everyone agrees that we're under-achieving"

The uplift was immediate with the weekend win over Swindon – a result and performance that was relished just as much on the pitch as off it.

Halliday added: “It was about getting back on track and starting to perform better personally and as a team.

“If we can get the fans as they were on Saturday then that will be massive for us.

“That’s down to us to play on the front foot, be positive and just work hard. That’s a given at this level that you have to be playing at 110 per cent.

“You can’t drop below that because when you do, things will start going wrong.

“Everyone agrees that we’re under-achieving at the minute.

“There’s still a long time left of the season and the more momentum we can gather should put us in a good place later on.

“If we can play as many games like we did on Saturday, then I think we’ll finish in a good place.

“It’s just about kicking on from there and keeping our standards high."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Brad Halliday had a hand in setting up Bobby Pointon's goalBrad Halliday had a hand in setting up Bobby Pointon's goal (Image: Tom Pearson)

Halliday bagged himself an “assist assist” with the powerful drive that led to City’s winner at the weekend – and a first goal for Bobby Pointon.

Jamie Walker was quick to the loose ball after the keeper fumbled with Pointon on hand to apply the finishing touch off his knee.

“It was a shot on target and I don’t get too many of them,” said Halliday.

“Great credit for Jamie and Bobby for keeping it alive and ultimately Bobby gets his first career goal.

“It was fantastic for him and a great memory for him and his family that they will hold forever.

“Hopefully he can kick on now and go get a couple more. He’s shown the quality he can bring to this team and it’s about us getting the best out of him.”