Charlton Athletic v Bradford City: Bantams warned their futures are on the line

Bradford manager Gary Bowyer: Unhappy.
Bradford manager Gary Bowyer: Unhappy.
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BRADFORD CITY manager Gary Bowyer admits his players have “seen a different side of me this week”.

The Bantams felt the full wrath of the 47-year-old in the wake of last weekend’s tame surrender to Blackpool.

City lost 4-1 at home to slip deeper into the relegation mire and Bowyer left a squad that has palpably under-performed this term in no doubts as to his dissatisfaction.

“There were a few home truths delivered after Blackpool,” said the Bradford chief, who is expected to agree a two-year deal to remain at the helm.

“The performance was just not acceptable, that was clear for all to see.

“We went through the game in a meeting and they have seen a different side of me this week. It is down to them now to respond in the right way.

“I certainly expect a reaction at Charlton. We have to be much tougher to play against than was the case last Saturday.”

Defeat to Blackpool left City six points adrift of safety with seven games remaining.

It was the third reverse since Bowyer’s arrival earlier this month but one in which the performance contrasted sharply with those previous losses to Oxford United and Luton Town.

He added: “It did surprise me, yes. People had obviously made me aware of one or two things that happened before my arrival. But I had not seen any evidence of what I was told before Blackpool.

“Everyone knows now that futures are on the line. The club cannot find itself in this position again.”

Bowyer expects to agree his new deal in the very near future. With 16 of the existing squad contracted to the club for next season, moving on those considered surplus to requirements will be key to how much of an overhaul can take place in the summer.

Bradford do have relegation clauses written into those contracts that will see wages fall if they go down.

But, even so, the size of the commitment still means there will have to be departures to free up money for new faces.

“I am fully aware of the size of the task that lies ahead,” added Bowyer ahead of today’s meeting with managerial namesake Lee at The Valley.

“But I am ready for that challenge, be it in League One or Two. I have been busy this week with agents and planning for pre-season.”