City are hoping to revel in their new role as underdogs.

Usually ranked among the promotion favourites, Peter Jackson’s team instead look set to start next season as League Two title outsiders.

The competition’s official bookmakers Coral have rated the Bantams as 20/1 joint tenth favourites to clinch the championship, with new boys Crawley tipped for the top.

The Bantams are also 11/2 joint 13th favourites for promotion but chairman Mark Lawn has no problem with critics writing the team off before the season has begun.

Accrington and Stevenage both defied the odds to reach the play-offs last season, Stevenage eventually beating Torquay to claim promotion.

“I think it would be nice for us to turn round and surprise a few people this year because we’re not usually in this situation,” said Lawn. “With Peter Jackson as manager we might be the surprise package in this division rather than the team that’s expected to win it.

“What odds would you have got on Accrington getting to the play-offs last year and what would you have got on Stevenage getting their second promotion in a row?

“The season always throws up a surprise or two so you can never predict what will happen.”

Preparations for the coming campaign will step up a gear today, with Jackson due to return to work after a short holiday.

Lawn also returns from the league chairmen’s conference in Cyprus, allowing City’s recruitment drive to start in earnest.

Jake Speight headed out of the exit door last week and his departure to Wrexham could be the first bit of business in a hectic few weeks.

“We’ve got a busy week coming up,” said Lawn. “Everyone will be back in and we’ll start building up towards the new season.

“We’ve also got the season-ticket offer running and we are looking at the fans picking the option up on the current offer.

“It does help the club and if they want to back us, come along and buy one.

“It’s still a good price and not expensive compared to a lot of non-league clubs, never mind Football League clubs.”