GARY Bowyer is ready to carefully manage his reluctant loan dilemma at City.

Luke McGee’s arrival to replace the injured Richard O’Donnell has pushed the Bantams over the limit for loan players in a matchday squad.

They currently have six borrowed from other clubs – but only five can feature among the 18 named for a game.

Matty Palmer was ill during the week and sat out the goalless draw at Colchester and is again expected to miss tomorrow’s trip to Mansfield.

Bowyer was critical of the same scenario which he inherited when he took the City helm in March. David Hopkin left him a squad with an extra loanee – which left Paudie O’Connor out in the cold for nearly two months.

Bowyer admits the current situation has been forced by O’Donnell’s hamstring issue – and will talk the players through how he plans to deal with it.

He said: “It was a necessity. It’s something that’s going to need to be managed.

“I didn’t like the idea of it at all, if I’m being honest, after what happened last year to Paudie.

“But it is something we’ll have to look at as and when. I will be honest with them, you can’t do it any other way.

“The lads aren’t stupid and totally understand we’re in a position where we lost Richard and didn’t know how long for.

“You try finding an out-of-contract, out-of-work goalkeeper who was in that position. It was almost impossible.”

Dylan Connolly and McGee both featured in midweek while Aramide Oteh, Callum Cooke and Jamie Devitt were named on the bench.

With a week to go until deadline day, Bowyer is still looking around for the possibility of adding to his numbers. But he stressed there is nothing close to being done.

“If the window closed now, I wouldn’t have a problem going with what we’ve got,” he added. “I’ve said that to the group.

“But sometimes I think the odd new face here and there brightens up the place and brings a different challenge for one or two.

“I’ve seen the advantage of it where you bring a couple of new faces in at the death and it gets the group going again.

“But I wish they’d do a week rather than a month. It doesn’t make sense for me to drag it all out when it goes down to a mad two days.”

City have not heard any more from leaders Swindon over Eoin Doyle after they also lost his former strike partner Jerry Yates to parent club Rotherham.

Bowyer said: “It is difficult when you take loan players, especially when they do really well. We had Sean Longstaff at Blackpool smacking them in here, there and everywhere.

“You were sitting there waiting for the recall date to elapse and then you can breathe and finally get some sleep without worrying.

“I think it was Carlisle last season who were doing really well and then a couple of lads were recalled. They dropped off and just missed out. But you know the rules when you go into the agreement and it works both ways.”