Mark Hughes paid tribute to matchwinner Abo Eisa as Bradford edged past promotion rivals Salford in a five-goal thriller at Valley Parade.
The Bantams claimed their second home win in four days to move up to fifth in Sky Bet League Two.
Eisa headed the winner after Conor McAleny had twice equalised for the Ammies.
It was Eisa’s first touch of the ball after coming off the bench – as it was for fellow substitute Andy Cook who set him up.
Hughes said: “He’s a great player and a great kid who has had a really difficult time with injuries.
“Touch wood he looks to be over them and is playing at full pace again and scoring in front of the Kop is a great moment. He got a round of applause from the lads when he came in as well.
“When guys aren’t on the pitch they are still engaged in the game, making a note of things and watching intently.
“When they get the call to go on, they are ready to make an impact because they’ve seen what has happened and what’s required.
“We talked at length about the need to make Valley Parade a fortress and I can see signs of that now. This huge crowd can be a real advantage and they got us over the line.”
Bradford went in front when Salford defender Theo Vassell was credited with the final touch as he jumped for a header with Vadaine Oliver.
McAleny volleyed Salford level five minutes later – only for Oliver to restore Bradford’s lead before the half hour.
Richie Smallwood struck a post for Bradford before Salford equalised again with a thumping strike from McAleny.
Eisa headed the decisive goal less than a minute after replacing Levi Sutton after Cook flicked on Brad Halliday’s free-kick.
Odin Bailey hit a post as Salford launched a late flurry but they could not find a third equaliser.
Manager Neil Wood said: “It was a tough one to take but I thought it was all us for the last 25 minutes. We were the team most likely to get something.
“I thought the first goal was poor to concede but we came back.
“Then they scored again, which was down to us, but when we equalised at 2-2 I thought we would kick on in the game.
“If we just kept the ball and showed some composure and switched the play, we knew the wide areas were going to hurt them.
“That’s what made it even more disappointing to concede the third. We felt it was a really soft goal.
“Our organisation was wrong and you know Cook is a massive threat. Nine times out of 10 they are going to look for him with the delivery.”
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