Stuart McCall has sent a five-page dossier to the Football League defending the City side he picked for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

The threat of being fined up to £5,000 is hanging over the Bantams because of the league's tough rules on clubs fielding their strongest line-up in the cup competition for the lower divisions.

But McCall insists the team that crashed 5-1 at holders Doncaster was still as strong as he could possibly play and he has compiled an in-depth response to the league to spell out his reasoning.

"I've just tried to outline the honest reasons why," said the City boss.

"We got told prior to the game that we would be getting a letter from the league asking us to explain the team selection and I've written back going through every point.

"We had five genuine injuries after the Barnet game so we rested only two players. I could go down the list and can't think there is another side who rested less than us.

"The two we chose not to play were left out for genuine reasons. Omar Daley was due, at that time, to be flying out the following week to play for Jamaica in Colombia and Mark Bower had just come back from three days of illness.

"We had Tom Harban coming in because Daz Williams was injured but because he'd only played at Barnet he wasn't in the top 11 appearances. But we had six of the players who finished the Barnet game three days before plus two of the substitutes.

"The only new players who came in were Ben Saynor in goal, Sean Taylforth and Craig Bentham.

"We played both Kyle Nix and Barry Conlon, who we weren't going to because they could have done with a rest - and Nixy limped off two minutes from the end and wasn't fit enough to play three days later at Lincoln."

McCall repeated his point to the league that the next opponents of clubs who were drawn out for a first-round bye should also have been excluded.

Alongside the letter, he even sent a Lincoln newspaper clipping quoting Imps director of football John Deehan discussing the advantage of having a free midweek while City had to play.

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