Lee Bullock did not think twice about accepting a City pay cut, insisting: I owe THEM.

The combative midfielder signed a new one-year deal at Valley Parade on less money than last term but maintains the drop in wages was never an issue.

Having missed much of last season due to a serious knee injury, Bullock has taken the refreshing stance of believing he is actually still in debt to the club.

“There’s been a lot reported about pay cuts and all this carry on,” said the former York battler.

“But I missed three-and-a-half months of the season, so in a way I need to give a bit back.

“It was an unfortunate, rubbish and horrible injury but these things happen and the club still have to pay you while you’re doing nothing.

“They looked after me and I’m more than happy to pay them back.”

Indeed, Bullock says he would have gone public sooner had circumstances been different.

He explained: “It was never in doubt I was going to sign again. As soon as the manager offered me a new contract, I told him I wanted to stay.

“It’s just he went away on holiday, then I got married and went away on honeymoon, so it couldn’t be announced for a few weeks. From the moment he told me though, I was always on board.

“When you play in the lower divisions like we do, there’s no better place than Bradford City to be playing your football and I can’t wait for it all to start up again.”

Newly-wed Bullock will swap the sunshine bliss of the Maldives and the Indian Ocean for some lung-busting training in Apperley Bridge’s less glamorous surroundings next week as pre-season kicks off.

But he is eager to get his fitness built up and fire into 2009-10 after being crocked for much of last term.

Bullock, 28, caught his studs in the turf at Shrewsbury last September, tearing knee ligaments and being sidelined until January.

He found it tough winning his place back in the starting line-up upon his return, although he did finish the campaign strongly.

And Bullock wore the captain’s armband on the final day at Chesterfield, a sign of the respect Stuart McCall holds for him.

He recalled: “It was quite a bad injury. Even though I was saying I was back fit, it did take a lot out of me and it wasn’t until that last month when I got back in the side that I felt strong again.

“Now I’m looking forward to getting a full pre-season under my belt and getting back to work. We’ve signed a few new players, kept a few of the others on and it’s all exciting.”