DAVID Hopkin is “quietly confident” that Jack Payne will still be a City player for the rest of the season.

Under the terms of his loan agreement, Huddersfield have until next week to recall the in-form midfielder.

The Bantams boss would be loathe to lose eight-goal leading scorer Payne, one of the key performers in the team’s mid-season revival.

And having talked with his parent club, Hopkin is keeping his fingers crossed that will not be the case.

He said: “We’ve had dialogue with Huddersfield regarding him and Lewis (O’Brien) and it’s positive news.

“We need to make sure nothing happens between now and the cut-off point of the 15th.

“I’m quietly confident that both will be here but you never know in football.

“It’s been positive when I’ve spoken to him. We just need to wait and see.

“But we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to make sure these players I do want remain here.

“The loan players have been a main feature since I’ve been at the club and the way they’ve been playing over the last five or six weeks has really added something to the side.”

Hopkin, who is moving in on his second transfer-window recruit, admits he is still relaxed about the Payne scenario.

The situation could still alter quickly if a club made a permanent offer to Huddersfield.

“As I’ve said all along, it doesn’t worry me one way or the other,” he added.

“I want him to stay – everybody wants him to. But when it’s a loan player, we can only wait and see what’s going to happen.

“We’re hoping and I’ve spoken to Jack and he wants to stay.

“Unless somebody comes in with a massive bid, I think that’s the only thing that’s going to change it.”

Paudie O’Connor’s arrival means City have the maximum five loans allowed in a match-day squad. But Hopkin is prepared to add another.

“We’re up on our loans but sometimes we might have to take one in to get us to where we want to be.

“We’ve tried to get a few players in and it’s difficult. The longer the month goes, you might get one or two players who are maybe freed by other clubs but that will probably be towards the end.

“It’s important we get one or two in, maybe on a permanent deal to make it a bit easier for us on matchdays.”

City are also trying to move on some of the fringe players who are not in Hopkin’s plans. Josh Wright, Joe Riley and Alex Jones are among several that the club hope will look elsewhere this month.

Hopkin said: “January is always a strange month and you want everything sorted out.

“You’ve got a lot of players who are not going to be in the squad who are still at the club.

“These things can be negative so we need to make sure we stay positive.

“If players do get offered deals by other clubs, we try and make it work.

“If it doesn’t work for the club, it doesn’t work for me or the player.

“They’ve had dialogue with myself and Julian (Rhodes) through their agents.

“Some have been offered clubs but whether they take it or not is totally up to them.

“I can’t push them. But the longer things go on, the longer they aren’t playing games.

“These things have to be sorted and it’s up to the players to make sure they go and everything is happy on both sides.”