CITY plan to size up their squad strength once they have played Sunderland and Newcastle.

Head of recruitment Greg Abbott jets in to Austria today to catch up on the fitness camp.

Abbott will watch training with Stuart McCall ahead of tomorrow's friendly in Germany against TV Echterdingen as City continue to run the rule over free agent Gordon Greer.

Centre half remains the one key area to fill in McCall's ranks and the 36-year-old former Scotland international is in pole position.

Abbott believes the squad is coming together well after a flurry of signings at the start of pre-season.

But they will have a much better idea after playing the higher-profile warm-up games in the next couple of weeks, with City hosting Sunderland a week tomorrow and Newcastle four days later.

Abbott said: "We'll see what Stuart wants to do. He'll have seen things from this trip and then once we've played against Sunderland and Newcastle, we'll all sit down to assess things and see where we are.

"It's encouraging and there are plenty of bodies at the moment. We'll see how they have gelled and whether we might have to do some more.

"You also have to cover your back in case anyone comes in for one of our players. That's where you need options.

"The summer was always going to be a difficult time with the fact that while most clubs were looking to putting next season's squad together, we were looking at promotion.

"The play-off final was a distraction and you can't hide away from that.

"But we had two or three good meetings as soon as the season finished and the players we've brought in were all on our radar quite a while. Nothing there sprung out of nowhere, they've all been seen, all been watched in games.

"They are a mixed bag in terms of age and characters but sometimes you have to take a bit of a gamble.

"Ultimately you get one shot at it. If you don't get it right, you might have blown your chances and you can't do anything about it."

City have other options to fill the right-sided role in the middle of defence if a deal for Greer fails to materialise.

But reports that they are looking at Jordan Turnbull of Coventry and Sonny Bradley at Plymouth are wide of the mark because both are left-footed.

Abbott has heard good reports from Kleinwalsertal about Greer's progress.

"I've talked to Stuart about a few things and he says Greer speaks really well, as you'd expect such an experienced player to speak," he said.

"He's backing himself out there. A lot of people wouldn't do that.

"He isn't on trial as such. He's 36, has played for his country and played at the top level. But he's just gone there to show Stuart where he is in terms of legs and fitness.

"He's a really solid pro and hopefully how he does will give Stuart a problem – but we do have a plan B as well.

"We looked at six on the day before he went. I would have to say there's only one on that list I wouldn't be interested in.

"They are all good, experienced centre halves and none you would consider to be a gamble. The youngest is 24 and Gordon's the oldest.

"He would be the easiest to do at the moment. With the others, you'd have to go into the clubs and try to prise out.

"You've also got Romain (Vincelot), who you could play in there tomorrow. We want that option to drop him in if we play three at the back.

"But we want his presence in midfield at times and his aggression there. That's why we need a 6ft 2in experienced centre half who we know can go straight in."