SAM Stubbs is happy to banish any talk about his knee.

The centre half has come off the bench for the past two games – the first league action when he hasn’t been picked from the start.

Stubbs missed the campaign-opening defeat at Crawley after taking a bang in pre-season.

But apart from that, he has been fit for selection every week since his deadline-day signing from Exeter at the end of January.

It is a run that the defender is proud of considering all the issues he had at St James’ Park with a long-standing knee problem.

Stubbs said: “The only way you stop people speaking about it is by playing.

“I always knew I was capable of putting a run of games together.

“The conversation I had with Bradford when I came here, they had questions and rightly so. But I knew I would be fine.”

There were concerns given his recent injury history when City announced they had signed the son of former Everton and Bolton stalwart Alan.

Stubbs had joined Exeter from Fleetwood in January 2021 – but did not feature until November the following season because of several issues with his knee.

He went on to play a key part for the Grecians in winning promotion from League Two.

But a recurrence of his injury at the start of last term restricted him to just two outings in the third tier.

But Stubbs remained confident of selling himself in the talks with the Bantams during the mid-season transfer window.

“That was the position I was in,” he added. “It’s water under the bridge now but there was a period of inactivity that wasn’t all down to injuries.

“I’d been training for a long time pre-January. They understood it wasn’t down to my knee that I’d not been playing the previous two months which definitely helped.

“That faith was a big from a personal point of view because I’d had that period of not playing.

“Then it was a case of ‘can you manage the game, regardless of your knee? And then can you go and perform on top of that?’

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Sam Stubbs played 21 games on the bounce last seasonSam Stubbs played 21 games on the bounce last season (Image: Thomas Gadd)

“I found my feet a little bit more the more I played. As a footballer, you feel once you get through one game then you’ll be okay and a bit of maturity helps you understand.”

Stubbs made his debut in City’s impressive win at high-flying Stevenage in February – his first senior appearance in almost six months.

But that launched a run of 21 consecutive performances right through to the play-off heartache against Carlisle. That convinced Stubbs that his knee woes were finally behind him.

“The first game is a big one and you’re nervous for many reasons. It was Stevenage away which wasn’t easy because they were going so well but we won.

“Then it was about getting that run of games, which I did.

“I’ve well and truly packed it away in my mind. I don’t think about (the knee) anymore.

“I feel in a good place at the moment in terms of my football and my knee.

“I purely think of performance milestones in terms of playing the games.

“Of course, you’ve got to be fit to go out there but, more so, I want to achieve certain things and certain stats and I want to win games of football.”

Stubbs was dropped by Graham Alexander after a tough afternoon in the televised defeat at Notts County.

He was an unused sub in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy thrashing of Barnsley but came on in the closing minutes to shore up the defence in the new manager’s first win against Accrington.

Stubbs was also introduced in stoppage time at Forest Green following Ash Taylor’s dismissal.

With Taylor now facing a three-game ban, Stubbs and Jon Tomkinson are both in contention to step in when City return to league combat against Salford next weekend.

But Taylor can still play in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy tie with Liverpool under-21s at Valley Parade on Tuesday night because his red card was in a different competition.