STUART McCall will rally his “threadbare” City with the promise of extra days off if they can deliver another big display at Fleetwood this afternoon.

The Bantams were considering an appeal against Charlie Wyke’s red card against Oxford but otherwise his three-game absence means they start 2018 with resources at full stretch.

McCall is hoping that Scunthorpe target Tony McMahon is over his bout of sickness but Jake Reeves is likely to remain out for up to a fortnight.

The absence of Wyke, who netted his 12th goal of the season in Saturday’s 3-2 win, would be the biggest blow with no obvious replacement in the target-man role. City are already without injured strikers Dominic Poleon and Alex Jones.

McCall said: “We’re going to have to come up with the freshest bodies that we can for Fleetwood but we are down to the bare bones.

“Some we might have rested will have to play again – but it was the same on Saturday.

“We expected Reeves and Macca to be available but Reevesy’s pelvic area flared up again after training on the artificial pitch on Thursday and he’ll have to have another injection.

“Tony pulled out late with illness but we hope he’ll be back. We’ll have to wait and see.

“I know the lads work tirelessly and give everything they’ve got. They will have a couple of days off this week – and they can have as much rest as they want as long as they can give us one more big performance.”

With the transfer window now open, it is understood that McMahon was the subject of a bid from Scunthorpe ahead of the Oxford game. But it has not been considered by City.

They may also be reluctant to deal with a promotion rival after the impact that Filipe Morais had last year when he left the club to join Bolton.

McCall’s immediate headache is who to play up front at Fleetwood if there is no Wyke.

Shay McCartan is set to keep his place after a lively first league start for four months, capped off with the second City goal, but the Irishman admitted they would miss Wyke’s physicality. He said: “You need someone like Charlie in this league to hold the ball up and win headers.

“But we’ll find something. It’s going to be difficult but we’ll get through it.

“The gaffer has faith in all of us, so whoever he plays and whatever system, we know we can perform to our maximum. It’s just focusing on getting another win.

“It was so important we got the three points on Saturday after losing two. A lot of teams could have gone into a crisis and kept the run going.

“But we’ve turned it round. We’ve got a big game at Fleetwood to focus on now and everything’s geared towards getting another three points.”

Timothee Dieng headed City’s third goal at the weekend in his first start since mid-October but McCall said the Frenchman could also find it tough to play back-to-back games.

McCall revealed: “Tim was struggling after 60 minutes in his first full game for months. But we needed to keep him on for his aerial presence.

“We’re already without Dom Poleon, Colin Doyle, Adam Chicksen and Alex Jones, so it puts a lot of strain on the lads out there.

“Shay and Tim have just come back and we’ve got others like Romain (Vincelot) and Killa (Matt Kilgallon) who are the other side of 30 and have played a lot of games.

“It’s just unfortunate we’ve got five or six lads out and we won’t be able to freshen it as we’d like. But we’ll have a head count and decide what’s the best way to go.”