BRADFORD Town boss Paul Shanley says that it did take half a game but his side have gained the belief that they belong in the top flight of the Toolstation League.

Bradford did suffer a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Brislington in their opening game of the new campaign last Saturday but Shanley’s men bounced back in style on Tuesday as a Jack Hopper hat-trick helped them run out comfortable 5-2 winners at Hallen.

And the Trowbridge Road chief reckons that his team are showing signs that it won’t take them too long to get back to their best this season.

“In the first half of the game against Brislington, I think there was a little bit of apprehension and we showed them too much respect,” said Shanley.

“But we improved a lot in the second half and on the balance of possession and chances, we definitely deserved at least a point, if not all three.

“It was disappointing to lose the game but there were still a lot of positives to take out of it and what we asked was for the players to take that second half performance into the Hallen game.

“That’s exactly what they did - we created lots of chances and could have easily scored seven or eight.”

New boy Hopper led the rout on at Hallen as he found the net three times, with Dan King, who also missed from the penalty spot, on target, along with Mark Wall.

Midfielder Wall was also on target during Saturday’s loss to Brislington.

Bradford host Sydenhams League outfit Moneyfields in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup this weekend but will be without suspended defender Tom Evans.

Striker Sam Jordan and Joe Vyner are unavailable whilst King and defender Mike Reaney are both injury doubts.