THE beaming grin stretching across Kyel Reid’s face has become a trademark sign of the feel-good factor currently enveloping Valley Parade.

A smile is never far from the winger’s lips anyway but even more so during a rich vein of form that has seen City become the team he feels everyone will want to avoid in the play-offs.

It has almost been written in the stars that Reid’s return to his West Yorkshire “home” would develop into another grand finale.

Looking back now, it seems a long time since that cheery demeanour wavered for a moment when he did briefly wonder if all would end well.

But there was a time when Reid admits the doubts began to enter his mind.

Motorway journeys offer plenty of time to think, particularly on a long trek back from the other end of the country.

After City had heralded 2016 with a dispiriting 3-0 defeat at Gillingham, Reid did question how the script would pan out.

At that time they were mid-table and a distant 16 points adrift of the second-placed Gills. Coming five days after letting in three at Bramall Lane, the New Year could not have started on a flatter note.

“That was the slight period when I thought it was going to be difficult,” said Reid.

“When we lost away to Gillingham was the moment for me when I was beginning to wonder what would happen.

“We’d lost to Sheff United just before that. They were two big games for us in the same week and we got nothing.

“But it’s great how things have turned out for us.

“It’ a bit similar to the year we did go up. We dipped a bit then and there were people writing us off but we came strong.”

Proof of Reid’s impact is clear with a quick glance at the table. The City side he re-joined at the start of October were sixth from bottom with just ten points from the first ten games.

He admitted: “At the time I was in two minds when I looked at where they were in the league.

“But I decided to come back and I’m so glad I did. We’ve done remarkably well to get to where we are now, not just myself but the team.

“Our fitness levels speak for themselves. Nick Allamby does his bit to keep everyone on top of their game.

“It helps getting players back to fitness, obviously Fil Morais coming back for his first game and lasting 70 minutes at high intensity was great.

“When you look at what we’ve got, as long as we stick together as a team then there’s a great opportunity ahead of us.”

Reid’s own future is up for debate. Out of contract and presumably out the door at Preston in the summer, it remains likely that he will turn his second spell with the Bantams a permanent one.

It would be a no-brainer for the fans – and he also enjoys plenty of support within the City hierarchy.

Reid said: “I believe there has been some talking (with my agent).

“But I had a good chat with the chairman the other day as well. He was just saying how pleased he was that I’ve been back and that I’ve helped turn the season round.

“That’s great as a player to know you’ve done something right and made the right choice coming back here.”

Since that Priestfield Stadium low, City have turned in promotion form to collect 43 points from 22 games. Gillingham, in contrast, just 19.

City’s play-off opponents will not be confirmed until Sunday’s final league matches.

But Reid is not intimidated by those standing in their way. In his view, it’s City who are the team the rest will want to steer clear of.

“We’ve got everything there with the experience and quality in the squad as well as our form.

“Other teams will be more worried about us than we will be about them, especially over two legs.

“When we played Wigan away, my good friend there Craig Davies said we were the best team to come to their place. We were solid and hard to break down and put in a very good performance

“That says a lot about us and shows how other teams are more worried.

“We’re an ugly team to play against because we keep working so hard – a few of my old Preston team-mates are playing for Scunthorpe and they were saying the same.

“We’re always working for each other. If someone makes a mistake, somebody else is there to back them up and correct it.

“I think our fitness levels are above anyone else in this division. I know we will do well and get the results we need.

“It’s a great chance. Everyone is behind us, the management, the fans, we’re altogether now as one.

“It’s down to us as players to get the job done and I think we’ve got the team ethic to do it.”