While Peter Jackson grips ever tighter to the Valley Parade hot-seat, the powers-that-be continue to sift through the mountain of applications.

Improved results have allowed City’s two chairmen more time to process the list of managerial wannabes filling the desk of the office they share.

So far, only a couple of interviews have taken place.

The first of those was John Hughes, the Scot who is growing fed up with life on the golf course after losing his job at Hibernian last autumn.

Jackson’s claim is obviously strengthened with every point he can glean in the chair. It would be easy to take the populist decision and hand over full control right now.

But Mark Lawn and Julian Rhodes still plan to carefully consider all runners and riders. It is a crucial choice while City remain stuck in the bottom division.

Edinburgh-born Hughes is an interesting outsider. But he’s someone that, according to the man he still calls “gaffer”, is worth serious consideration.

Former Bantams boss Jim Jefferies said: “If I was sent to the moon and could take one person with me then it would be John Hughes because I know we’d survive. We’d never be stuck because he is a born winner.

“Sometimes the passion gets the better of him but that’s simply because he wants to win at everything he turns his hand to. He’s just a tremendous character.

“No disrespect to Peter Jackson and I wish him all the best. He is in the seat now and I know that every single manager needs a medal because it’s such a tough job.

“I certainly don’t mean any ill of Peter, who clearly wants the position full-time. But if it doesn’t work out for him then I’m sure John would be worth a go.”

The pair go way back to when Jefferies took his first management job at Berwick Rangers in 1987 and centre half Hughes had just signed from a local junior side.

Jefferies recalled: “We were the worst club in Scotland, bottom of the lowest division. The message was loud and clear – everyone had to pull their fingers out to get us going.

“The previous manager was a friend of John’s father and I quickly discovered that the club hadn’t even bought him. They couldn’t afford the £1,500 transfer fee.

“So we had to do a deal with the junior club to let him play and offered them a sell-on clause.

“After a lot of hard work we went on a fantastic run and John was a big part of that. I converted him from centre half to centre forward and got him a move to Swansea City.

“It wasn’t for a big fee but it felt like the equivalent of £2million for Berwick because they were stony broke – and his junior club got their reward as well.”

Jefferies moved on to Falkirk and they were reunited again a season later. Hughes dropped back to midfield and then defence, where he became a fearsome figure with subsequent clubs Celtic and Hibernian.

“John was a fantastic pro with a great attitude to the game. He played a long time because he looked after himself so well.

“He has such enthusiasm and it was no surprise when he went into coaching and then management with Falkirk.

“He was very successful there and that was down to the sheer hard work he had put in.”

Hughes was head-hunted by Hibs and took them to fourth place and a first European appearance in five years. But it suddenly went sour at the start of the season with an immediate Europa League exit and a run of poor results in the Premier League.

Jefferies added: “It was sad how it finished for John but he will have learned a lot from being at a club like Hibs and I know how desperate he is to get back into management.

“We’ve had such a long connection and he still calls me gaffer. I’d love to see him get an opportunity again.”

Critics would point to a lack of managerial experience south of the border. But Jefferies insisted that Hughes, who was linked with Blackpool before Ian Holloway got the job, has put the legwork in over the years.

Jefferies said: “Billy (Brown, his former City number two) and I used to set off every Tuesday for England. We’d watch a game that night and then stay the following day to take in another, often not getting back until 3am on the Thursday.

“We’d see John all the time doing the same when he was at Falkirk and he continued to do that. That’s how he picked up people like Anthony Stokes and others who’ve gone on to make a reasonable career.

“John has always wanted a crack at English football and he’s been linked with a lot of jobs.

“They always say that Scottish managers tend to do well in England because they are prepared to work extremely hard.”

It is almost a decade since Jefferies’ ill-fated 13-month spell at Valley Parade was ended with a very un-festive Christmas Eve call from Geoffrey Richmond.

Now enjoying a successful second stint with Hearts, who sit third behind the Old Firm, he still feels that his time at City was spent almost entirely with an arm tied behind his back.

Jefferies was one of the first victims to be swept up in the club’s plunge towards the financial nightmare that has been the root cause of the subsequent slump down the divisions.

“It was an impossible situation,” Jefferies admitted. “We had players on stupid contracts and had to spend all our time trying to get them off the wage bill.

“We were made promises by the chairman that he couldn’t keep and it was going to take more than a change of management to turn things round. I think people know that now.

“But the people at the club were great and I don’t regret anything. I just hope Bradford can start to come back.”