SIMON Grayson hopes City can shoot back into the play-off mix by wrecking FA Cup giant-killers Wigan’s quarter-final dress rehearsal at Valley Parade tonight.
Paul Cook’s third-placed Latics host Southampton on Sunday with the prize of a trip to Wembley on offer.
But Grayson would love to send them into that huge encounter on the back of a defeat in his first home game at the Bantams helm.
A massive 31 days after taking the hot-seat, he will finally walk into the home dugout this evening – and he wants to see his team go for it against the recent conquerors of Manchester City.
Grayson said: “That’s my attitude at any time. We’ve got to be positive and take the game to the opposition. Get the big crowd behind us and really make it a vibrant place.
“It doesn’t matter how many games you’ve had as a manager – and I’ve had 600-plus – you’re always looking forward to your home debut.
“Wigan have got some very good players and a talented squad. But they’ve won one in five (league) games and you’re getting to the business end of the season.
“Paul’s an experienced manager and they should be up the top end of the division because of the players, squad and budget they’ve got.
“But we’re now coming to the time where you’ve got to get over that line, whether it’s Shrewsbury, Blackburn or everybody else around it.”
Facing Wigan immediately before their cup clash with Saints could play into City’s hands. Grayson experienced the problem in the past with Leeds when their results dipped off around big occasions.
“When one or two tackles fly in, hopefully they’re aware of what they’ve got the following weekend!” he said.
“But I don’t know. The manager will be telling them they are all playing for their places. It should, if anything, motivate you to stay in the team.
“Play well against Bradford and then you’ve got a good chance of playing in the quarter-final of the FA Cup. If you do pull out of a tackle, you’ll be sat next to me on the bench.
“At Leeds we beat Manchester United and went on a poor run for a few games afterwards.
“It’s nothing to do with complacency. Sometimes you can find it emotionally difficult to get back on track.
“But they’ve got a big enough squad to rotate and change things for the weekend.
“We’ve got to concentrate on ourselves and make sure they have a tough time. Whatever they throw at us, we’ve got to deal with.”