City will redouble their efforts to have a new left back in place for their next outing against high-flying Preston.

With no game at the weekend, Phil Parkinson has eight days to get someone in place to fill in for the injured James Meredith.

Parkinson has been trying to bring in a back-up – and will make that his top target again after City’s limitations in that area were exposed at Sheffield United.

City fought back from two down to grab a 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane but they struggled to contain the Blades out wide. Carl McHugh again deputised to start with but was switched round with Matthew Bates in the second half as the home side dominated on the wings.

Assistant boss Steve Parkin confirmed that Parkinson remains in the market for a specialist in the role, with Meredith expected to miss six more weeks with a broken foot.

Parkin said: “It already has been (a priority). It wasn’t just a case of bringing in Aaron Mclean up top.

“Phil has been on the phone for the best part of a couple of days trying to strengthen with a recognised left back.

“Carl played really well last week but he’s a young player and coming to a place like Sheffield United against a winger in top form is sometimes difficult.

“We put Batesy out there for his extra bit of pace and experience. But that’s certainly a position we’ll have to look at in the next week.

“I think Carlo has stood up well. He’s a good young player and has had some outstanding football matches for us, especially in the cup run last year.

“But it would be ideal if we could bring one in. But as people know, centre forwards and left backs are the most difficult ones to get.”

City must also face up to the absence of Kyel Reid after the winger was stretchered off with a twisted knee following a collision with defender Tony McMahon. He is having a scan this afternoon.

Reid is the latest in a long list of injuries hampering Parkinson’s side, who have now gone nine games without a win.

Parkin admitted: “It looks a bad one. Reidy’s foot stuck in the ground when McMahon went in the back of him.

“He was just trying to push off and his knee twisted. It caused a nasty pain and could be quite serious.

“Every manager you speak to will rue their injuries but we’ve had a couple of really serious ones. We had Andrew Davies injured before Christmas, Mezza is going to be for a good while and now we’ve lost Reidy.

“It is disappointing. While we have a reasonably good squad, we have seven or eight injuries to key players.”

Losing 2-0, a deflected goal from Gary Jones gave City a foothold back in the contest before James Hanson levelled off his shin – his second in successive games since the exit of Nahki Wells.

“We’ve had a couple of difficult weeks,” added Parkin. “We had the to-ing and fro-ing of Nahki leaving, the broken foot to Mezza, the other injuries to first-team players – it’s been stop-start.

“We’ve had too many draws and not enough wins – we know that. But to come back and show the spirit we did was important for all of us. The commitment is very much intact.”