ANDY Cook still has a “massive part to play” in City’s season as Graham Alexander considers bringing him back at Wrexham.

The striker was benched for last week’s goalless draw with Wimbledon – the first time he had been deliberately left out of a league line-up since January last year.

Alexander felt Cook had gone off the boil after scoring only once since Christmas.

City’s number nine was axed from the starting plans for a month last season by Mark Hughes and responded by netting nine goals in the next 10 games.

The Bantams would love a similar reaction but Alexander insists that wasn’t behind his reasoning to give Cook another breather.

“That wasn’t part of my thinking,” he said. “I go off what I see and feel.

“I just felt he wasn’t the same sort of level that he was pre-Christmas. I want to get him back to that.

“If it means him missing one, two or three games, to get back to that level, I’d rather have him at the highest level for less games than plateauing out in average fashion for a lot more.

“I’d rather have the best quality Andy Cook.

“I do know his xG (expected goals formula) is the same. He’s had the same amount of chances that he’d had at this stage last season.

“I know he was almost red hot after he had a little break from the team in January. He came back maybe with a point to prove and a little bit refreshed physically.

“He ripped up the division with his goals.”

Cook missed City’s Carabao Cup triumph at Wrexham at the start of the season through injury.

Alexander must be tempted to bring him back as the Bantams look to end an eight-game winless run in the league against the division’s best home record.

He added: “I am still learning about a lot of the players in and out the team.

“When we go through a spell of a lot of games, the conditions we train under with the weather and everything, all this can affect players’ condition and output.

“We’re just trying to get a freshness in everybody. It’s not just Cooky we’re looking to do that with.

“Cooky’s record at this level and his importance for us as a team is not diminished.

“I still know he’s a very valuable player for us.

“The discussions we had last Friday and the way he’s come into training this week, he looks refreshed in his own mindset.

“Sometimes it’s a weight off your shoulders when you’re left out the team. It’s a fresh start and I’m hoping that’s the effect it has with Cooky.

“He’s still got a massive part to play for us, without a doubt.”