Trading could be tricky for struggling Bantams

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JOINT chairman Julian Rhodes admits Bradford City have a huge balancing act to perform once the transfer window opens tomorrow.

The Bantams, who have several loanees and first-team players out of contract next week, host Shrewsbury Town on the final day of the year with spirits high following back-to-back wins over Southend United and Crewe Alexandra.

City’s upturn in form means the Yorkshire club have – for now – eased their growing fears of being relegated from the Football League.

However, with the gap between 19th-placed Bradford and the dropzone being only five points, no one at Valley Parade can rest on their laurels just yet.

With that in mind, manager Phil Parkinson is likely to be handed funds to strengthen his squad further following the extension earlier this week of Stoke City defender Andrew Davies’s loan period with the club until the end of the season.

Rhodes, though, is also at pains to stress that while the priority must remain getting out of trouble this season, the club must not eat into next year’s budget if they are to mount a serious promotion challenge in 2012-13.

He said: “The balance we have to achieve is to spend as much money to stay up, but while also keeping as much back as we can to really have a go at it next season.

“We have probably over spent this year but we know we have to stay up as going down is not an option.”

City will be without Ricky Ravenhill and Michael Flynn due to suspension and illness respectively against fourth placed Shrewsbury.