Gary Bowyer paid tribute to the “positive energy” created by the City supporters, which he insists helped his Bantams run out emphatic 3-1 victors over promotion-chasing Peterborough United.
Second-half goals from Jacob Butterfield, Eoin Doyle and Lewis O’Brien ensured a memorable victory for Bowyer in his first match in charge.
A late penalty for the visitors provided some consolation for Darren Ferguson’s side, as the Bantams moved to within four points of safety.
“From the minute we came out of the tunnel and got the reception we did from our fantastic supporters, there was a positive energy created around the ground,” said Bowyer, who arrived at the Northern Commercials Stadium on Monday.
“The players fed off the energy and showed – in the way they ran, closed down and were organised – they can compete.
“We were delighted we could take the game, at 0-0, into half-time following the performance last week.
“Getting a clean sheet would have been a stepping stone for us – which we should have got.
“The players grew in confidence as the game went on. We had the backing of the supporters all the way and I couldn’t ask for more with how they played.
“We encouraged the side at the break. They were organised in their shape and pressed at the right times.
“Nat Knight-Percival and Anthony O’Connor threw themselves in front of everything and blocked a lot of good balls.
“We wanted to keep the work rate high but take more care in the final third, which we certainly saw in the second half.”
Butterfield’s screamer on 70 minutes, Doyle’s calm finish shortly after and O’Brien’s instinctive chip during the closing stages moved City into a three-goal lead late on.
After Paul Caddis was ajudged to have brought down Marcus Maddison in the penalty area, the in-form Peterborough man tucked the spot kick home.
Bowyer added: “You can see the talent in the players we have. Jacob Butterfield was very unlucky not to score the free kick but he grabbed a brilliant goal to cap off a magnificent performance.
“Sometimes football is a simple game. If you work very hard, generally you get your rewards.
“The goals we scored were of great quality and were truly deserved.
“You have to play with passion and pride and the players did so.
“I said we had to give the supporters something to cheer about to get something back from them.
“They were magnificent throughout the entire game and helped us get a brilliant victory.”