Resilience and self-belief pushing Bradford City towards League Two play-offs

MARK TRUEMAN praised the character of Bradford City’s players after they continued to close the gap on the League Two play-off places with a hard-earned 1-0 win over Mansfield Town.

DELIGHT: Bradford City joint-manager, Mark Trueman. Picture: George Wood/Getty Images.

Danny Rowe scored on his return to the Bantams’ starting XI, his 32nd-minute strike at Valley Parade enough to leave the hosts just three points off the top seven, with at least one game in hand on most of the teams immediately above them.

And while Rowe took all the plaudits for his strike, joint-manager Trueman – confirmed in the role on a permanent basis with Conor Sellars last Monday – was equally delighted to record a clean sheet, as City made it five straight wins.

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Bradford City 1 Mansfield Town 0 - Danny Rowe returns to grab victory for Bantam...
ON TARGET: Danny Rowe, Bradford City's match-winner against Mansfield Town. Picture: Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

“We have already shown we can win in different ways,” said Trueman. “Our defensive resilience, for long periods of this game, was fantastic. Mansfield caused us a lot of problems and are a good team. We knew that going into the match.

“We are delighted with the characteristics we showed again, to get over the line and secure all three points. We know Mansfield are very energetic and they like to come at you and press. They try to look for mistakes and errors to capitalise on, and we knew that.

“We did not start brightly, and they caused us a lot of problems, but we showed that resilience and togetherness to defend our box. If we can carry on matching these defensive performances and improve what we are doing with possession, we are going to give ourselves good opportunities to win more football games.

“Winning five-straight games is a great statistic and we will look to go and improve this run. That is the type of mindset that myself, Conor and the players have got.”

Trueman said while there was much to celebrate at the Bantams’ current run of form, there were still plenty of areas which needed improvement.

On top of their structure and solidarity at the back, Trueman was also pleased with his side’s clinical nature in attack.

“We have set our foundations for how we should be structured for matches, which has helped us going forward,” he added. “We showed bits of quality going forward, but there are still things to work on.

“It only takes one moment for us to win the game, and Rowey was there to put it in the back of the net.”

Bantams are in action at home again on Saturday when they welcome sixth-placed Bolton Wanderers, who remain four points ahead of City after winning 2-0 at Oldham on Tuesday night.

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