GRAHAM Alexander thanked Guiseley for coming to City’s pre-season rescue – as he criticised his former club Scunthorpe for their late call-off.

Guiseley have stepped in to fill the blank Saturday in their warm-up schedule after Iron cancelled the July 13 fixture claiming their pitch would not be ready.

The Bantams will instead detour to Nethermoor that day to renew a traditional pre-season rivalry after a three-year absence.

Alexander was delighted their Northern Premier League neighbours were able to step in at such short notice.

But he was clearly fuming with the behaviour of the club that he used to manage after they called on Monday night to cancel.

“It wasn’t a warning,” said Alexander, who was Scunthorpe boss in League One for two years up to 2018.

“It was just a matter-of-fact conversation that the game couldn’t take place.

“There was no discussion or other options put forward. It was just they couldn’t do the game.

“There had been zero inkling that it might happen. We’d had contact the week before about a potential change of kick-off time requested from their end.

“As far as we were concerned, everything was set. It was extremely disappointing to say the least.

“We’ve had that game organised since the end of February. We were well ahead of the schedule.

“We all have our issues and problems sometimes with our pitches and we have had in the past. But I feel let down, to be honest.

“I read their statement about our pitch not being ready but there was no request to change the fixture to ours, nothing at all.

“Our pitch does not have to be ready for that date because we didn’t have a game booked in for then. Our deadline is July 30 for the Sunderland game.

“But we had to crack on and find a solution. Guiseley were there for us, they’ve had to rearrange something to do that, and it will be good for the fans to not have to go too far from their front door to come and watch us.”

The Guiseley game came as a result of a frantic round of phone calls so that City were not left with a blank weekend ahead of their training camp in Austria.

Lee Angol scores a City penalty at Guiseley in 2021Lee Angol scores a City penalty at Guiseley in 2021 (Image: Thomas Gadd)

Alexander added: “I would say 99 per cent of professional football clubs, being professional, had games already done.

“We knew we were up against it. There’s been a history of pre-season games at Guiseley before with Bradford, so it’s a blast from the past.

“We’re looking forward to all the games and we’re delighted we’ve got the fixture at short notice. We really appreciate what Guiseley have done.

“We’ve only got three Saturday games so when one goes down the swanny, it’s a bit of a blow.

“But this is football, it’s life, and you’ve got to be ready for whatever is thrown at you.

“I had the same conversation with the players yesterday on another subject. We just have to be ready for whatever comes our way.

“I think we’ve got one of the best club secretaries around in Mark Harrison and he was straight on the ball and managed to get this fixture sorted.

“It’s a fixture that’s very close to us and a great opportunity for Guiseley to put some money in the bank.

“That’s important for every football club, certainly at lower levels. It’s hard to get those revenue streams.

“It was a fly in the ointment for a day but we’ve managed to crack on.”