SALFORD, like City, have found it tough to get going again after play-off heartbreak.

While the Bantams fell to eventual Wembley winners Carlisle, the Ammies experienced penalty agony against Stockport.

And seven months on, they are struggling to rediscover the momentum that took them so close in the promotion race.

The biggest problem for Neil Wood’s side has been injuries – lots of them.

He was missing 11 senior players for last week’s derby with Stockport and was only able to name five subs.

Salford still came away from the leaders with a creditable goalless draw but that stretched their winless run in the league to five games since last beating Doncaster on October 24.

It’s been a sticky season so far – a run of five straight defeats building the pressure on Wood before three successive wins. But they have tasted just once in eight attempts since.

Wood described their battling effort at Edgeley Park 10 days ago as a “massive step forward”. Now he wants to see that effort repeated at Valley Parade.

“The challenge for us is to stay consistent and keep repeating that,” he said. “That’s the challenge because we can be our own downfall.”

Elliot Watt was one of the absentees having recently returned to action following an appendix issue that saw him miss the start of the season.

“To be out for that lengthy period of time was something new to me,” the former City midfielder told Salford’s club website.

Matty Lund, the one-time Bantams loanee, is available after suspension and Wood is desperate to have more bodies available.

“We’re praying we’ve got some back for Bradford but we’ll see how we have to go.

“If we had a full-strength team, we could give a better account of ourselves. I’m not so sure if we’ve got a squad strong enough to compete with the top teams in this division.

“We definitely need to improve but we’d be in a much better place if we had a fully-fit squad.”