MATT Kilgallon has revealed how City are still under orders from Stuart McCall to beat Bury today.

The experienced defender was among a group of players who arranged a night out with the former boss to say goodbye after his sacking.

It highlighted the close bond McCall retained with the squad to the end – and Kilgallon felt it was a fitting farewell for the man who steered the Bantams to Wembley last season and kept them in League One's top six.

He said: "It was an impromptu thing to take him out for a drink. We just wanted to say it had been an enjoyable time.

"The ex-gaffer was so positive still. That was the thing I got from it.

"There was no bad-mouthing or nothing. It was all about, 'You'd best win Saturday and Tuesday'.

"He was not there going, 'I want you to lose'. He really wants us to win and that just shows the sort of man he is.

"He's a top bloke and was great with the older lads. He listened to them and if anyone needed the day off from training to go in the gym, he'd let you do that.

"We went out and had a few drinks, nothing daft, and shared a few good stories. It was a way of saying thank you and I thought it was a nice way to do it.

"It is very rare and the first time I have done it (after a manager has gone). It was just a thing off-the-cuff and we had a good night.

"You could see how gutted he was. He has played here and it means a lot to him."

Greg Abbott has been installed in caretaker charge alongside Kenny Black as the owners look for a new manager. Simon Grayson and Phil Brown are understood to be at the forefront as they target experience and know-how.

Kilgallon said: "Kenny and Greg have been putting on sharp and lively sessions. I think they feel a little bit funny with it as well.

"But it's football and you see a lot of people come and go. With the amount of players I have played with, you are with them every day and then the next minute they are gone and you never see them again for ten years.

"It is a funny sort of industry – but I am sure with Stuart, he will be gagging for us to win against Bury."

Kilgallon, who was signed by McCall on the eve of last season, admits there is a sense of guilt within the dressing room.

Yet he sees his sacking, after a run of six straight defeats, as a sign of the times in an increasingly cut-throat business.

"On the first of January, we had more points than we did last season (at that stage) and everything was looking great," said the City defender.

"Then five league games, all losses, not scoring goals and conceding too many and the chairman has said that's enough.

"It's the way football is at the minute. You lose four or five games and managers are getting sacked.

"He was great for me and the lads. But times have changed now and we want to stay up near the play-offs, so we need to get over it as fast as possible and crack on.

"He is a legend at the club and I think a few people are sad. But if you ask the ex-gaffer, he would say it is a results business. He knows that and is not daft.

"But there will be no-one happier if we win. He will be buzzing."