THE saying that every day is a school day is certainly proving right on the City training ground.

Practice has been a mobile affair this week with the excess water affecting Apperley Bridge from the recent storms forcing Stuart McCall to hunt high and low for alternative bases.

But despite all the upheaval, the message remains the same to keep learning – for himself and assistant Kenny Black and the large playing squad.

His preference to play with two strikers and two wingers has meant that the midfielders are having to gen up on the change in system from Gary Bowyer.

Jake Reeves and Hope Akpan have been the central axis for the past two games. That is unlikely to change at Newport with Callum Cooke still troubled by his back – a problem that City are waiting to ease.

Bowyer often liked to employ three players in the middle and McCall admitted going without the extra man in there can take some getting used to again.

He said: “You speak to the midfield lads and some are used to playing in a three.

“There aren’t many comfortable in a two. But if we’re going to play with two centre forwards and two wide men, a lot of times you’re going to be asked to do that.

“You’ve got to have the legs in there to cover it, especially if you are playing against a three.

“You saw Lewis O’Brien, the boy from Huddersfield last year, and the amount of energy he had to do that.

“There are all different ways you can cover as well. Wingers can tuck in narrow or get a striker to drop in, like Shay (McCartan) did against Cambridge.

“But when I look at the make-up of the squad and making decisions, you have to look at people’s strengths – especially the attacking ones.

“Then you’ve got a decision to make with the shape and what’s best for the team and what suits the players.”

Cooke was involved in the first goal of McCall’s latest reign, his shot flicking off Lee Novak’s shoulder to give City the lead against Grimsby.

But he felt a twinge in the base of his spine while going on for a jog before the next training session and has not been able to feature since. He is a player that McCall is keen to see more of and his absence has been a blow.

Defender Kelvin Mellor, whose height would have been useful against Newport’s approach, is still not ready to return from his hamstring injury.