PAUDIE O’Connor could be thrown back into City’s relegation fight after finding himself the odd man out.

The Leeds defender has not even been on the bench for the last two games because David Hopkin’s side have the maximum five loans allowed in the match-day squad.

But Hopkin has hinted that he may call on the young Irishman again after pointing the finger at his two centre halves for Fleetwood’s weekend winner at Valley Parade.

The Bantams boss held Nathaniel Knight-Percival and Anthony O’Connor responsible for not dealing with the cross that Paddy Madden converted for the only goal in a dismal game.

Hopkin also hopes to have Calum Woods and Kelvin Mellor back training today and revealed that Paudie O’Connor is very much in his thinking for the critical home clash with Plymouth.

He said: “It will be good to add another couple of bodies defensively and obviously I’ve got to look at young Paudie too.

“He missed out again (on Saturday) because of the ruling. But I’ve not ruled out bringing him back in and it might have to be one of the other loans who might have to sit out.

“It’s a juggling act but fair play to Paudie. I spoke to him on Friday and he remains very positive.

“He wants to be here and wants to play. If I have to bring him in next week and somebody else has to miss out, then that’s what I’ll do to make sure we start winning games.”

O’Connor was the first of City’s five signings in the transfer window but has featured for less than an hour.

He was subbed at half-time on his debut at Barnsley and came off the bench for the dramatic added time in the home win over Shrewsbury.

Hopkin confirmed that his parent club have no problems with O’Connor’s lack of involvement so far.

He added: “Julian spoke to Leeds last week and I’ve talked to them about the situation.

“I think everybody is happy. Paudie is quite receptive to how things are going here.

“I’ve told him that if he does get a chance in the team, then he won’t be on the bench – he’ll be straight in again.”

City have slipped to second-from-bottom but are still one point behind Bristol Rovers in 19th spot as other League One results fell kindly. Stuart McCall’s Scunthorpe were the only winners in the bottom half.

Hopkin added: “We’ve dropped a place but the lucky thing for us is that it’s still very tight at the bottom of the league.

“They are all going to be difficult games but we have to stay focused. We did that well at Wycombe.

“The goal was down to a defensive mix-up not from any good play from Fleetwood. We switched off and it cost us three points.

“You’re playing a team in the top 10. They are well organised and been together all pre-season, working hard how they are going to play tactically.

“They had a game-plan that worked for the last 80-odd minutes and we struggled to get a foot-hold.

“Fleetwood did it to Charlton last week. Most games they play in, they don’t concede many goals.

“That’s why it was important we didn’t let them score. It was the same at Wycombe – they are very similar.

“Hopefully between now and next Saturday we can get the players lifted and try to go again. We’ve got to remain positive and ready for another very difficult game against Plymouth.”