GRAHAM Alexander refuses to understand anyone who doesn’t take the EFL Trophy seriously.

City are eyeing a place in the last 16 of the Bristol Street Motors competition tonight when they take on Liverpool under-21s at Valley Parade.

Having topped their group with maximum points, the Bantams will be looking to make it four straight wins under the recently-appointed boss.

Alexander insists their preparations have been as thorough as for any league game.

“I love the whole competition,” he said.

“At my previous clubs, I’ve always made the decision to change the team around and give the opportunity to players who are unluckily not in the league side the game before.

“It’s a case of, ‘here you go, here’s your shot and let’s go and take it’.

“We always prepare exactly for any competitive game. We don’t take it lightly.

“Football is too important and we want to win games. Why would you not give it absolutely everything to try and win?

Clubs reaching the final would pocket over £200,000 in prize money but Alexander is looking no further than negotiating the first knock-out stage.

Emmanuel Osadebe completes his three-match ban this evening for the red card against Grimsby.

Harry Chapman and Colin Doyle are also suspended after receiving two bookings in the competition but Ash Taylor can feature despite being sent off at Forest Green in the league last week.

Alexander added: “I try to stay away from talk about the end game and what it leads to. It’s obvious what the potential is.

“It’s way too early in the competition to consider what’s at the end.

“We have to focus on the next game and make sure we’re at it. We’re not good enough to think we can just roll up and win.

“Our focus must be right, our physical preparation and tactical game, the lot.

“I see every game as an opportunity to feel good about yourself, about your team and making sure the supporters go home with a smile on their face.

“If you put a monitor on my heart rate, it will be the same as if it was on a league day.

“I want my players to be like that and their physical output to be the same.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Tyler Smith celebrates his goal against Barnsley last monthTyler Smith celebrates his goal against Barnsley last month (Image: Thomas Gadd)

“We have all the stats and information and any player who thinks about taking it easy won’t play.

“We don’t need people who pick and choose their games. We need a consistent mindset every time we take to that pitch.

“There’s always a different feel to a game when it’s at the knock-out stage in any competition.

“In group games, certainly at the start, you always know there’s another opportunity to make things better.

“But now there’s a little bit more jeopardy because it’s all or nothing on the result. It’s about handling pressure situations like this when winner takes all.”