JAKE Reeves feels City can stand up to the test of character of losing two key players in the opening week.

Romain Vincelot is suspended for tomorrow’s trip to Gillingham to add to Adam Chicksen’s absence with a cheekbone injury.

It is an early double blow for Stuart McCall’s new-look side – but one that midfielder Reeves is confident they can overcome.

He said: “Maybe it might not be such a bad thing. You’re always going to have tough spells at some time in the season.

“Obviously we’re going to have one right now in terms of the squad being a little bit light.

“Romain’s a big character and Chicks has come in to fill the left side and now we’ve had to bring someone else in for that. But I think we’ll be okay.

“You saw the other night when we went down to ten men and the boys all stuck together and went for it. We were a bit unlucky with the result.

“It’s not an ideal scenario obviously but I don’t think it’s going to be too much of an issue.

“These things happen in a season and to be successful you’ve got to get through these patches unscathed.”

But Shay McCartan will travel south with the squad today after missing the Carabao Cup as a precaution over a sore hamstring.

Reeves has emerged as the pick of the summer recruits so far and believes the new group is settling in.

He added: “When you lose a few players and bring in new ones, it was always going to take time to gel properly.

“But I think we’re learning very quickly about each other. I think the second half last Saturday was probably our best performance since we’ve all come together.

“It’s difficult at first when you’ve been playing at other clubs. You have to get used to different players’ style of play and the different approach from the gaffer.

“It’s not just a case of sticking everyone in together and everything should be okay after a couple of pre-season games.

“It’s the competitive games when you really find out about each other and I think we’re getting there.”

City drew against Gillingham twice last season and expect another tight encounter in the Kent side’s opening home game.

Stuart McCall said: “You’d expect the home team to be on the front foot in front of their own fans and have a go.

“But we’re hoping we can do what teams have been doing to us and counter-attack and use the space with the pace we’ve got. We’ve got to assert our authority.”