GRAHAM Alexander says City’s sprint finish must be their blueprint for next season.

The Bantams won six of the last seven games, taking 19 points from a possible 21 from Good Friday onwards.

That included three victories in a row at Valley Parade – the best run at home since February 2021 when City won four on the bounce under Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars when there were no fans present.

It ultimately proved too little too late as Alexander’s men finished a point outside the play-offs.

But the City chief believes the unbeaten charge reminded the players they can become a good team.

He said: “There was so much confidence for me and everyone to take from how we ended the season.

“It would have been easy to let the season slip away and use everything as an excuse. I don’t think the players did that.

“Winning the three home games on the trot for the first time in three years shows what can be achieved if you have got the right mindset and mentality.

“There were a lot of young players in the team with not a lot of games under their belts.

“They will have learned a lot about themselves and what’s achievable if you do things right and approach it the right way.”

City paid the price in the end for that four-game slump in March when they lost three at Valley Parade and then surrendered meekly against Harrogate.

That left them languishing in 17th place – nine points behind the last play-off spot having played a game more.

But Alexander was encouraged by how the team then managed to pick themselves up again to make a dash for the line.

The difficult state of the home pitch proved another obstacle but City saw off Tranmere, Gillingham and Newport during the run-in.

“We won’t use things that we have to overcome as excuses for us not winning games,” added Alexander. “I think we’re beating ourselves then if we do that.

“The game’s tough enough without us making it harder for ourselves.

“We have to make sure we can overcome whatever’s thrown at us.

“But there were good signs at the end of the season, not just in terms of the games we won but the way we played.

“We played some good stuff and we were really effective as well.

“We’ve talked about those last six or seven games as the blueprint of what we want this team to look like week in, week out next season.”