BRADFORD Town manager Wayne Thorne believes his side are in the midst of a crucial run as to whether they can be considered contenders for the Toolstation League Premier Division title, writes JONATHAN LEIGHFIELD.

The Bobcats have made a scintillating start to the campaign, losing just two of their opening 15 games in all competitions while not recording a single draw in that time.

As a result, Bradford have qualified for the second round of the FA Vase – courtesy of a 1-0 win over Lymington Town on Saturday – and climbed to the top of the Toolstation Premier table on Wednesday night following a 6-1 success at home to Brislington.

Despite their red-hot form, Thorne says it is far too early to start talking about being promoted or planning the route of the title parade – not until Christmas anyway.

The Bradford boss reasoned that if too many points are dropped over the course of the next nine days, when the Bobcats play Cribbs, Bitton and Bridport, they may be facing another season of mid-table mediocrity.

Thorne said: “Starting with Brislington, we’ve got four games in 11 days – if we are in a similar position after that, then it’s great.

“If not, and we start dropping points, then teams will start pulling away from us.

“Within this period, things can change massively, so all we can do is keep doing what we’re doing and keep putting points on the board when we can.

“Hopefully we’ll be in a good position at Christmas. If we can do that, people can start talking about us challenging.

“But let’s not get carried away with that now – we’re hardly into the season, so it’s far too early to talk about that.”

Bradford started the season on a seven-game unbeaten run before that sequence ended abruptly with a 3-0 defeat in FA Cup qualifying at Sholing.

Thorne’s side suffered their second defeat of the campaign – but first in the league – two games later when going down 1-0 at Street.

The Bobcats boss revealed that game signalled the start of the new-look Bradford – a team that would prefer to scrap for a 1-0 success as opposed to coming out on the wrong end of a seven-goal thriller.

Thorne said: “You’re always going to get off days – we’re Western League footballers – we’re not going to be perfect every game.

“In the Street game, we weren’t good enough, but we still could have won the game with the amount of chances that we created.

“But since the Street defeat, I changed the formation a little bit and when we haven’t got the ball, we are harder to beat.

“Having said that, it has had an effect on the amount of goals that we score, so we may end up winning games 1-0.

“For me, that’s not a problem because you’re still winning games.

“We’re keeping clean sheets now and we’re becoming much harder to beat than at the start of the season.”