MARK Hughes was delighted with Bobby Pointon for “taking the fight” to Grimsby in City’s 1-1 draw.

The 19-year-old was handed a first start for the Bantams - and came up with the assist to Alex Gilliead’s late equaliser.

Hughes had not planned to keep Pointon on for the whole game but felt the local lad was a big influence in their second-half recovery.

“I thought he was excellent today,” said the City boss. “The intention wasn’t really to give him 90 minutes.

“We thought we need to be fair to him. He’s only a young kid but he was a great creative outlet for us.

“He really took the fight to Grimsby in that second half once we got him on the ball.

“We know he’s got good qualities. He’s a conscientious kid who wants to do well and he worked exceptionally hard as they all did in that second half.

“It was just a case of understanding what we needed to do. We needed to get on the front foot.”

City were booed off at half-time after trailing to Danny Rose’s header. Hughes switched formation at the break, abandoning the three centre halves to revert to 4-2-3-1.

"I think in the second half, we took the game to them. We had to make a few changes.

"Listen, it wasn't easy for us. We had four home debuts so there's a little bit of disruption to our playing 11.

"We had to move things around a little bit.

"In the first half, we had a plan to get a good press on and didn't do that in any way, shape or form and had to change it very, very quickly.

"In the second half, we went to four at the back and that helped us a great deal and then really forced the issue and got the goal we deserved.

"All in all, in the second half, it maybe - just maybe - makes up for the first half.

"The change of shape helped. We just needed to stop their backline just having comfortable possession and we needed to get on the front foot.

"We changed the shape and had two wingers out of there and they were up against the two full-backs which was the outball for Grimsby in the first half.

"In the second half, we stymied them."

Sam Stubbs will be assessed after coming off late on with a tight thigh, allowing Jon Tomkinson to make his first City appearance.

Meanwhile, Tyler Smith's groin strain is expected to keep him out for a further week.