Steve Schumacher will always owe City for launching his playing career.

But as he returns to Valley Parade for the first time tomorrow with Crewe, the midfielder is not sure how the home fans will greet him.

Schumacher, signed by Colin Todd after the second administration in 2004, spent three seasons with the Bantams after failing to make the grade at boyhood club Everton.

But his time finished on a sour note when City dropped into League Two – and he got involved in a slanging match with the away end on the afternoon relegation was confirmed.

Schumacher said: “I don’t really know what the crowd will be like but I’m expecting a bit of a mixed bag because the way it ended wasn’t great.

“My reaction to one single fan behind the goal at Chesterfield wasn’t something I was proud of but it was just one of those things borne out of frustration. Maybe a few people will remember that but I’d like to think they will see that I played a lot of games for Bradford so I was obviously doing something right for the team.”

Schumacher was plucked from Everton’s reserves by Todd and quickly nailed down a regular place. He still has very fond memories of that period.

“I played 130 games for Bradford and really appreciated the club for giving me a chance. I was only a young kid and it was a great opportunity to start my career.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the three years there. The first is still the best because I’d just come into the side and was full of enthusiasm and played more than 50 games – I never expected to do that.

“But it was proper disappointing the way it all ended and I was gutted to get relegated. I don’t think we deserved to go down but the bottom just fell out with a few games to go and we couldn’t pick up the pieces.

“There’s only Matt Clarke and Omar Daley still left now from my time but I spoke to Wethers (David Wetherall) in the summer and I’m still in touch with a few of the lads like Mark Bower, Bridgey (Marc Bridge-Wilkinson) and Tom Penford.

“I can’t wait for the game. I’ve been looking forward to playing there since the fixtures were drawn up.”

Schumacher bagged his first goal of the season last week in Crewe’s 3-2 loss to Rotherham – their fifth defeat on the bounce.

And he has endured a torrid time with injuries since arriving at Gresty Road with ankle and knee ligament trouble grounding him for large chunks of the past two campaigns.

He admitted: “It’s been a bit of a nightmare for me. Two out of the three seasons at Bradford I just topped 50 games but before this year, I haven’t had three games straight.

“This season has been the best so far and I’m hoping I can get a bit of rhythm going. When you are in and out the side you can’t get the form and fitness.

“I feel I’m getting back to my best and dusted the scoring boots off against Rotherham. Hopefully I might be able to get another one tomorrow and help us to a good result.”

Crewe axed boss Gudjon Thordarsson because of the recent poor run with Dario Gradi back in the hot-seat yet again.

But Schumacher insists Alex are a better side than the results have suggested.

He said: “Losing five in a row sounds terrible but we haven’t played that badly. We’ve been in games and had most of the chances but not taken them – and then teams punish us.

“Dario wants us to play a bit more football. That’s always been his philosophy and it’s better for me if we get the ball down.

“League Two’s been a bit of an eye opener because it’s up and at you. Every team we’ve faced has had the same style of play.

“But we’re confident of getting something from Bradford. I think the two sides should be up there this season.”