THE play-offs may be out of reach for Bradford City, but striker Charlie Wyke insists the “doom and gloom” of recent weeks has started to clear.
The Bantams host Milton Keynes Dons tonight in the first of three consecutive home games that are eminently winnable.
Even a nine-point haul, however, is unlikely to be enough to send City to Scunthorpe United on the final day with a realistic chance of finishing in the top six.
“I haven’t known a season like this,” said top-scorer Wyke, fresh from scoring in the West Riding club’s last two outings.
“It has been a weird one, with everything going so well up to January 1 (when a win at Fleetwood left Bradford eight points clear of seventh-placed Rotherham).
“To go like it has since then has been really disappointing for us all. We struggled to get out of things, but, hopefully, all that is behind us now. It is difficult to say what went wrong other than a loss of confidence.
I feel different heading out on to the pitch. The doom and gloom has gone. We are going out again, expecting to win.Bradford City’s Charlie Wyke
“The previous manager (Stuart McCall) got sacked and it affected our confidence. You could see that in training. The confidence was totally gone. I was feeling after defeats that I didn’t want to train.
“Now, though, it has slowly come back. I feel different heading out on to the pitch. The doom and gloom has gone. We are going out again expecting to win.”
Spirits have been lifted by a three-game unbeaten run since the nadir of being thumped 5-0 at Blackpool.
The upcoming home games against the Dons, Southend United and Walsall offer a further opportunity to get the fans back on side.
“The fans could have come to the next game after Blackpool and booed us from the first minute,” said Wyke. “But they didn’t. They got straight behind us.
“They could see we were working hard and responded. It is all they ask from us, to work hard. You see a lot on social media asking the players to work hard. It was a bit of a wake-up call to us all. We knew we had to react in the right way.
“How this season has gone has been frustrating for us, but it will have been even more frustrating for the fans.
“We let them down, but, hopefully, in the next few weeks we can show them what we are really capable of doing.”
Last six games: Bradford City WLLDWD Milton Keynes Dons DWLLLL.
Referee: B Toner (Lancashire).
Last time: Bradford City 2 Milton Keynes Dons 2; February 28, 2017; League One.