Relaxed Bradford City caretaker manager Mark Trueman pleased to have bought Bantams more time

Bradford City joint caretaker manager Mark Trueman goes into Christmas relaxed that his and Conor Sellars's immediate futures are still to be resolved, and pleased the upturn in fortunes they have inspired has bought the club's hierarchy more time to make a decision.

UNBEATEN: Joint caretaker managers Conor Sellars (left) and Mark Trueman

When Stuart McCall was sacked as Bantams manager, the club invited applications with the idea of having a new man in place for the December 22 trip to Grimsby Town.

The deadline came and went, and in the absence of a new manager, Trueman and Sellars oversaw an impressive 2-1 victory at Blundell Park, taking their points tally to seven from a possible nine. City had won back-to-back league games for the first time since New Year's Day.

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Trueman said at the start of the process he had no interest in taking the job full-time but his resistance appears to be wavering. Part of the thinking behind getting a new man in before Christmas was to allow him to make changes in the January transfer window, something McCall was not afforded when he took the job on February 3.

The 2021 winter transfer window opens on January 4, with no business possible after 11pm on February 1.

What has remained consistent is Trueman and Sellars's attitude that they are happy to take the team on a game-by-game basis whilst the Valley Parade hierarchy make their choice. Former Shrewsbury Town and Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst remains the bookmakers' favourite, although he has now been linked with the Grimsby job following Ian Holloway's resignation on Wednesday morning.

“The club are happy with what we are doing so it helps give them time to make a decision,” said Trueman, whose full-time job, like that of Sellars, is as an academy coach.

“Myself and Conor just keep working hard to improve these group of players until we are told otherwise.

“I’m not a betting man so I wouldn’t say to put a fiver on me.

“I’m employed by the club to keep improving the players within the building, whether that’s the (under-) 18s or the first team.

“We’ll just keep doing that until told otherwise.”

From only being out of the relegation zone on goal difference when Trueman and Sellars took over, the Bantams go into Christmas seven points clear of it.

Holloway resigned after Tuesday's defeat, Grimsby's ninth in 12 games, although he said it had more to do with off-the-field matters and his unhappiness with the way potential new owners were conducting themselves.

“New wannabe owners are hovering over (Grimsby) and John (Fenty, the majority shareholder) has told me he is selling his stake in the club,” he wrote in a series of tweets. “So it’s time for a fresh start across the board for this great club.

“Contact was made by the new owners to me on several occasions before the takeover, which I felt was inappropriate, and told them as such. This is the key factor in my decision.

“Why? The relationship between the incoming new owners, board and manager is so so important. It needs to be strong for a club to succeed, and we got off on the wrong footing. Therefore, that relationship will be strained from the off, which is bad for the club.

“I hoped for this to be a long, serious relationship but it hasn’t worked out that way, and that saddens me.”

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