CITY'S promotion rivals Swindon have lost their other key loan marksman after Jerry Yates was recalled by his parent club Rotherham United.

Yates, who scored 12 goals in 27 appearances for the Robins, is needed by the Millers to provide cover for the injured Kyle Vassell.

It is another blow for the League Two leaders, who are also without striker Eoin Doyle following his return to the Bantams earlier this month.

The Irishman is the league's leading scorer with 23 goals, though he has yet to register in three games since his recall to Valley Parade.

Swindon boss Richie Wellens said there is a chance the Doncaster-born Yates - who scored against City when the sides drew 1-1 earlier this month - will return before February 1 but accepts he will likely have to look elsewhere.

Speaking to the T&A's sister paper the Swindon Advertiser, Wellens said: “We’ve got to remain upbeat because we’re still in a good situation.

“Obviously we’ve lost nearly 40 goals from the team, and that’s tough for anyone, but we’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves.

“We’re going to keep smiling, keep our spirits up and try and sort out a team for Saturday.

“That’s just where we are at the moment. If we had the money to buy these kind of players, we would, but we can’t.

“Therefore, we have to get players that are out of our wage structure on loan instead.

“Hopefully we can get Jerry back – he was distraught when he found out he was going back because this was the spell he’s had in his career.

“I feel for him, but I have to respect (Rotherham boss) Paul Warne’s decision.”

Swindon have won one, drawn one and lost one without Doyle in their side this year but remain joint top with Exeter - seven points above fifth-placed City, who no longer have a game in hand following their 0-0 draw at Colchester on Tuesday.

As well as long-term injuries to Dion Conroy, Diallang Jaiyesimi and Ellis Iandolo, Wellens has seen Daniel Ballard also have his loan deal cut short along with Doyle and Yates.

The Town boss admitted: “Obviously, it’s not ideal and I feel like Rocky Balboa at the minute against Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV) taking blow after blow.

“And they’re not just soft jabs – they’re heavy, heavy shots.

“It’s not ideal, but you know what happened to Rocky Balboa and Dolph Lundgren don’t you? Rocky won.”