Bantams Head Coach Michael Collins took plenty of positives from last night’s pre-season clash, insisting City displayed encouraging signs in an impressive performance against Championship side Sheffield United.
The Blades, who narrowly missed out on a play-off finish last season, were two goals clear by half-time at the Northern Commercials Stadium.
But Bradford battled back superbly, with goals coming courtesy of new signing Jack Payne and Jordan Gibson.
The visitors bagged a late winner but City boss Collins was pleased with what was served up after the interval.
He said: “We will not come up against anything like that level of quality this season, so it is credit to the lads as they went toe-to-toe with a strong Championship team in the second half.
“I have studied Sheffield United for my own personal development because I was very impressed with them when they were in League One.
“Sometimes you have to accept the quality of the opposition. For some people the first half might have come as a shock but it wasn’t one to me.
“They are a very clever side and they overload in wide areas in order to create space as often as possible.
“It was good to see the boys hang in there in the first half. We had a good chat at half-time about how we could deal with their system. We did it really well and the lads nullified their threats.
“The first half was a good fitness exercise, if I want to take a positive from it, and the second half was very encouraging.
“The lads were disappointed not to have held out for a draw or even gone on to win the game, which is a real positive to take forward.”
Collins hailed the efforts of new-boy Payne, who played close to 70 minutes on debut, and Josh Wright caught the head coach’s eye.
“Jack is a big signing for us and we are very pleased with him. He showed what he was all about last night. It was a no-brainier, bringing a player of his quality to the club," he added.
“Hope (Akban) is getting stronger all the time and I thought Josh Wright was outstanding, he got better and better as the game went on.
“There are lots of positives and we have plenty to work on, so I am pretty happy.
“Once we get to grips with how we are going to play, we will become a real force in the division.”
A Bradford City XI will take on neighbours Bradford Park Avenue at the Horsfall Stadium this evening (7.30pm).
Admission is priced at £6 (adults), £4 (concessions) and £2 (under-16s).