AFTER a run of five straight defeats that has left relegation a more probable outcome than possible, many managers would surely be tempted to hide away from supporters rather than spend an afternoon calling several up on the telephone.
That, though, is what Gary Bowyer has been doing ahead of tomorrow’s deadline for Bradford City’s cut-price season-ticket offer.
There are so many teams that can get dragged into it. That is why we have to focus on getting the results we need.Lewis O’Brien
It is the latest attempt by the Bantams to re-engage with a group of fans who have endured a miserable year-and-a-half.
From kicking off 2018 with a victory at Fleetwood that maintained a place in the League One play-offs, Bradford find themselves with one foot back in the basement division.
Eight points separate City from fifth-bottom Wycombe Wanderers, whose superior goal difference effectively widens the gap by a further point.
Just five games remain, leaving Bowyer to concede earlier this week that his side’s only hope of survival is to claim a maximum 15 points.
Recent form suggests this is a forlorn hope, Bradford have won just twice since New Year’s Day and have lost seven of their last eight games.
But Lewis O’Brien, the midfielder on loan from Huddersfield Town, is adamant that safety is still within the club’s grasp.
“None of us have given up,” said the 20-year-old. “We are all going right to the end. Hopefully, we can make it go to the last day.
“There are so many teams that can get dragged into it. That is why we have to focus on getting the results we need.”
The bottom half of the table is remarkably concertinaed with just half-a-dozen points separating second-bottom Walsall from Gillingham in 13th place.
Bradford, however, stand alone. Almost like a sulking child in the corner, the Bantams give every impression of refusing to engage with the rest of the division.
They sit six points behind the Saddlers and few outside Valley Parade expect anything but a return to League Two for the club.
“I would not say there is much pressure,” added O’Brien, a shining light amid the mediocrity of a dreadful season on the pitch for the rock-bottom Bantams.
“We are here to deal with any pressure. We just have to take every game as it comes.
“The manager helps. He has brought a lot of positivity and we are looking forward.”