BRADFORD (Park Avenue) head coach Danny Whitaker feels his team need the backing of their fans “more than ever”.

The support from the Avenue faithful was exemplary last weekend as they edged Stafford Rangers 1-0 to inch ever closer to moving out of the relegation zone.

Ahead of this Saturday’s home clash with high-flyers Warrington Rylands, Whitaker his urged the fans to get behind his side once again.

He said: “The support we had from the fans last week was massive – I’ve said from day one that it’s what we need as a group – as the supporters can really be that 12th man.

“The club have looked at changing the environment and matchday experience over the past couple of home games, and it’s been well received. Fair play to the people behind the scenes for doing that because it’s not easy and takes a lot of hard work.

“It goes to show that once you do get that side of things right, then the fans will come and show their support because they have something to look forward to and something they can get behind.

“Hopefully we can continue in this way because we need their (the fans) support more than ever.”

Reflecting on the victory last time out against Stafford, Whitaker said: “If I had to describe the win last weekend then I’d call it ugly. In the first half, I thought we were in total control and we moved the ball around well, although it could have been quicker.

“In the second half, we worked our way into it but instead we huffed and puffed, and it became a battle in the end. At the end of the day the game is about results, and we got the job done in the end.”

Whitaker added: “Grinding out results is so important, so I’m massively proud with the players for doing that because it’s not always about looking pretty.

“I wouldn’t say it was backs to the walls and that we were just hanging on to preserve our lead – instead I’d say that we allowed Stafford to put some dangerous crosses into the box which can cause some nerves particularly when you’re trying to gain three massive points.

“The lads dug in and showed a different side to their performance, and that was the main reason they got over the line.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Danny Whitaker (left) is all smiles after victory over StaffordDanny Whitaker (left) is all smiles after victory over Stafford (Image: Martin Taylor)

Whitaker was under no illusion when asked just how big each win could be for the group going forward.

He said: “Getting three points like we did last week can be huge because it sets you up for the week and gives you a confidence boost knowing that you’re closer to the team ahead of you.

“I’m not suggesting that it will happen, but if we do win at the weekend and the team above (Basford United) lose their game, then we’ll be out of the drop zone.

“So, the more confidence we can build, then the more chance we have in reaching our goals.”