STUART McCall is likely to steer clear of free agents as he predicted a very quiet end to the domestic transfer window for City.

City lost out this week on a potential Premier League loan when his parent club decided to keep hold of a “creative” target.

McCall feels the Bantams are “probably done” before today’s 5pm deadline after making seven signings and will bank the rest of the space in the salary cap for the next window in January.

But there is still the option of bringing in out-of-contract players at any time – although the City boss is cautious of going down that route.

Plenty remain without a club but McCall said: “I would be wondering why they are still a free agent.

“We’re a couple of months into the season now and have been back training since July.

“But unless there are specific reasons, a mentality for any footballer should be to get to a club and play football.

“That’s what you should love doing, not sitting about waiting for the best deal.

“Maybe they’ve only just been paid up last week or there are reasons like that but if you’ve got a desire to play football, then why have you been sitting on your backside for the last three or four months?

“Is it because you’re waiting for an extra few quid or you don’t fancy that team or that league?

“But surely when you’ve been out that long you just want to get out and doing what you’re supposed to get paid for and be back in the dressing room. That’s what I don’t understand.”

With the late start to the campaign and the delay with the transfer market, the next window is only just over 10 weeks away. McCall also has the option of sending any youngsters out on loan in non-league in the meantime.

City’s first league loss of the season to Harrogate has not dented his belief in the squad as they look to respond against winless Mansfield tomorrow.

But he will be without Gareth Evans, who is likely to miss two weeks with a tight hamstring, and there are other injury concerns after four pulled out of a training game yesterday morning.

McCall added: “I’m not going to get all beat up about a disappointing performance the other night.

“People might think we need this and that but we’ll work the best we can with what we’ve got at this moment and I’m happy with that.

“We’ve got enough bodies. I don’t want to bring someone in for the sake of it unless we get hit with a load of injuries, that hopefully won’t happen.

“I don’t see anything happening unless something came up that will improve us. There’s another couple we might have a sniff at.

“But we’ve done okay up to the Harrogate game, taking out the first 45 minutes against Lincoln. It’s been a solid start.

“There will be ups and downs throughout the season but we know we can be better individually and collectively.

“There were a lot of disappointed people after the game and running into Tuesday and Wednesday, if I’m honest.

“It’s the first time we’ve had chance to be on the telly and obviously your family are watching. But it happens.

“You want to be your best and we weren’t. So make sure, the next time you go out you perform better.”