But, crucially for new manager Gary Bowyer, the smiles are returning in the wake of the thoroughly deserved victory over Peterborough United that kick-started his reign in style.
This feelgood factor means the prospect of hosting leaders Luton Town tonight is one to whet the appetite rather than – as, no doubt, it would have done a week ago – leave supporters feeling nauseous as to what possible punishment lay ahead.
“You win games and people come in with smiles on their faces,” said Bowyer, who is without full-backs Callum Woods and Kelvin Mellor as the pair await scans on injuries suffered in that 3-1 win over Posh.
“From last Monday when we came in, that is what we asked them to do.
“We did a debrief yesterday morning on the game and one of the things that came out was that the players enjoyed playing the football that they did.
“That is massive for me. We had the physical statistics back and they were unbelievable in terms of the energy the players put into the game.”
Luton, now under the charge of Mick Harford, will arrive at Valley Parade tonight unbeaten in 23 league outings, a club record.
Bowyer added: “Luton’s success comes from the forward-thinking club that they are and the planning that has gone into it.
“They have got permission for a new ground and they recently moved into a new training ground that is their own.
“It is no surprise then that you can put things in place to build on it year-in, year-out.
“You look at elite performance in organisations and it is being run properly.”
He added: “We know it is going to be a tough game, but it is one the players have got to be excited about.
“We think we have found areas where we might have a chance against them so we have got to work on that.”
Last six games: Bradford City DLDLLW Luton Town WWWDWD.
Referee: M Salisbury (Lancashire).
Last time: Bradford City 1 Luton Town 1; October 4, 2008; League Two.