Manager Neil Cox paid tribute to his players as he celebrated League Two survival after Scunthorpe gained the point they needed to be certain of avoiding relegation with a goalless draw at Bradford.
The result ended a five-match losing run for both clubs and meant that second-bottom Southend’s win at Barrow was in vain as they and bottom club Grimsby were relegated with one match remaining.
Bradford had goalkeeper Sam Hornby to thank for fine saves, turning over Kevin Van Veen’s header in the first half and then coming off his line to block substitute Ryan Loft’s shot in the second period.
The Bantams, who have failed to score in each of their last four home matches, came close to snatching a winner in the closing stage when substitute Clayton Donaldson turned the ball wide from close range from Charles Vernam’s cross.
Earlier defender Anthony O’Connor poked the ball past goalkeeper Mark Howard only to see it hit the post.
Cox said: “We should never have been in this situation. After the first eight games a lot of people wrote us off, but we have stuck together.
“Today we put our bodies on the line. We didn’t know what was going on elsewhere. It was our job to come here and get a result. A win would have been lovely, but it was the result that mattered.
“We tried to win the game and not worry about other teams. We are still in the league – that was the main focus. We had a couple of good chances, but solidity was the main thing.
“There was a lot of pressure thinking that the football club was in danger of going out of the league.
“The pressure was on me, but we tried to take the pressure off the players and we have got the result we wanted. The players are happy it is done.
“We have stayed in the league but we have let the chairman down and let the fans down.
“I started planning for next season four weeks ago. It is about bringing characters into the football club and we need better forward players. We have got to do better going forward.”
Joint Bradford manager Conor Sellars said: “It was really frustrating. We didn’t capitalise on the chances we created.
“Scunthorpe had a game plan and did it well and got the point they wanted leaving us frustrated. In fact, we could have lost the game – (goalkeeper) Sam Hornby did really well.
“There is no doubt the players lost a bit of confidence in the five-match losing sequence.
“We have got some good players but it is not happening for us at the moment. We have just got to keep working at it.
“Defensively we have improved but we need to recruit players who can score goals.”