Nahki Wells won’t be rushed back into action despite City firing a second successive blank in his absence.

The Bantams were cursing missed chances as they went down 1-0 at Crawley on Saturday.

Wells travelled south with the squad but was not involved – and it seems unlikely he will be pitched in against Preston tomorrow.

City want to ensure their star striker is fully fit and and will not take any chances.

Boss Phil Parkinson said: “Nahki is looking better and running a bit more freely. But he hasn’t trained.

“We took him with us (to Crawley) to get two days work with him. He was never going to be available. We’ve got to make sure that when he’s back, he’s ready. It’s a long season and we’re fifth in the table – it’s a good position.

“We’ve had a bit of disruption with injuries but we’ve got to come through the other side.”

City blew some great openings to score at the Broadfield Stadium, with Garry Thompson the chief culprit. Parkinson also felt they gave Crawley far too much space in possession.

“We’re picking a very attacking team. There won’t be many teams that go (away) with two out-and-out wide players.

“But when you do that, you’re relying on attack-minded players to do the job without the ball. I didn’t feel we were quite at it with that side of the game.

“We were six or seven yards out of position when we lost the ball and the pitch became very big because of that.

“Crawley have got good movement in their team but let’s track back to last season in the cup. We played teams with better movement than that and showed great discipline. We’ve got to rectify that and we will. Preston away is a great opportunity.”

Youngsters Oliver McBurnie and Jack Stockdill travelled with the squad ahead of tonight’s FA Youth Cup first-round tie at Scunthorpe.

Midfielder Stockdill is suspended for the Glanford Park trip but McBurnie will be looking to add to his sensational tally of 15 goals in eight games this season.

Parkinson said: “It’s good to get them part of the first-team set-up. I’m pleased with the group of young players we’ve got this year – they are driving each other on.

“I remember seeing it before at Reading where the group had the same work ethic. The age group with the likes of Nicky Shorey and Nathan Tyson had a great attitude and a lot of them became (first-team) players.

“I feel this group is the best we’ve had since I’ve been here and that’s obviously reflected in the scorelines.

“Their attitude has been superb and that’s great for the future of the club because we need some good young players to supplement the squad.”