Michael Symes used to dread Saturday mornings when he played for City.

While flatmate Steve Schumacher was up early preparing for another game, the lanky striker knew that the best he could hope for was a seat on the bench.

Symes felt that whatever he did would not convince boss Colin Todd otherwise.

While a serious ankle injury curtailed a chunk of his two-year stay at Valley Parade, he also blames Todd for “messing with his head” over the lack of first-team opportunities.

Symes is back at the club tomorrow with Accrington, where he has netted eight goals already this term, and his return will stir up memories of a difficult time.

He said: “I was at Bradford for two years and can count on one hand the number of games I started. The manager kept telling me my chance would come but it never did.

“I was staying with Schuey because we’d both come from Everton and Saturdays were really hard to take. He’d get up buzzing because he was playing every week but I was doing nothing.”

Symes admitted his confidence was shattered when he was left out for a table-topping trip to Luton – the week after coming off the bench to score twice against Sheffield Wednesday.

He added: “My head was all over the place after that. You couldn’t do any more than come on and score two in the biggest home game of the season. Then I found out he’d dropped me to play Dele Adebola, who’d been injured and hadn’t trained all week.

“At that point I knew the manager was never going to start me. It really got to me.

“No disrespect but he was putting young Joe Brown in ahead of me by the end. I knew it was time to move on.”

Symes started just eight games in total before leaving in 2006. Ironically his only other goal was in his final game at Brentford – then he pulled a hamstring while shooting against the post a few minutes later.

“That just summed up my luck while I was there. It never happened for me.

“I’ve got no bad feelings towards the club at all. I got on well with the lads and most of the staff.

“It was a shame things didn’t work out because I liked living there. I made quite a few friends around Bradford but it just wasn’t happening for me on the pitch.”

Symes moved on to Shrewsbury and played against City two seasons ago during a loan spell with Macclesfield.

Accrington borrowed him in March and he was happy to make the deal permanent during the summer.

Symes added: “I just wanted to play games and score a few goals. Accrington was just up the road so it suited me and I’m really enjoying it there.

“We’re doing all right in the league and it’s the furthest the club have ever got in the Johnstone’s Paint.

“The problems off the pitch haven’t worried us. You read things in the paper but we were told everything would be okay and it’s working out.

“As players you don’t let that worry you and just focus on the games. I’m really looking forward to going back to Bradford and there’s no reason why we can’t get something from it.”