ANDY Cook had an afternoon to forget as City fell to a 4-2 defeat at Notts County yesterday.

The big striker missed a catalogue of chances, the kind he was burying in his sleep last season, and had to be led away by Richie Smallwood and Matty Platt at the full-time whistle in order to avoid a confrontation with some understandably angry Bantams fans.

Playing on the edge, with aggression and intensity, tends to be Cook’s biggest strength, but that seems to be being channelled into frustration rather than goals at the moment.

Discussing his number nine at full-time, City manager Graham Alexander said: “That’s the nature of the business.

“If you’re a goalkeeper, you’re there to keep clean sheets, if you’re a striker, you’re there to score goals.

“Cookie thrives on goalscoring and what I will say is he got into those positions a lot today.

“We delivered a lot of opportunities for him and we can’t do much more (as coaches) than try and correct his position where needed.

“We need to get people supporting him, as we did today, we got in some unbelievable positions and created some great chances, not just for Cookie.

“All players go through little runs of form where their outstanding attribute isn’t quite clicking.

“But we believe in Cookie, his record is there for everyone to see.

“If we can help him in any way, we will do that, but the player has to believe we’re going to create chances for him.”

On that minor flashpoint at full-time, Alexander said: “I don’t see anything negative from that.

“Cookie was upset and rightly so, because he didn’t score and we didn’t win.

“I wouldn’t expect to see a player smiling and being happy in that situation, that would have been more weird for me.”

If Cook was not in the fans’ good books at full-time, Brad Halliday probably was, with the City right-back their biggest threat in attack and probably the man of the match for the visitors.

Alexander said: “I thought Brad and Lewis (Richards) bombing forward in the second half did a good job.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Graham Alexander was impressed with his two full-backs after the break.Graham Alexander was impressed with his two full-backs after the break. (Image: Thomas Gadd.)

“They’ve got the attributes to do that and they both want to play on the front foot.

“It was difficult for them in the first half, because Notts County kept doubling up on us in those wide areas and we didn’t support the pair of them enough.

“I take my fair share of the blame for that because I thought they were isolated and a bit unsure about who to press, and it’s important we make it really clear for them about who to press, who they back up, and that it’s all on the front foot.

“I thought the second half suited them and Brad started our response after the interval by breaking the press, playing forward and creating an opportunity in the first couple of minutes.

“I thought he was a great outlet for us today, but I thought Lewis did well with that too on the left-hand side, especially with it being his first game in a while.

”I also thought the two lads coming on at half-time (centre halves Matty Platt and Ciaran Kelly as City switched to a 3-5-2) were willing to go one v one and use their pace and mobility, so all of that was how we got back in the game.”