STUART McCall admired Michael Flynn as a leader for City – but hopes to send him home moaning.

Flynn brings his second-placed Newport to Valley Parade tomorrow to face his former Bantams boss.

McCall is relishing the challenge against a man he described as a “winner” during his spell in claret and amber.

He said: “Flynny played with his heart on his sleeve, a good type that you’d want in your dressing room.

“He could moan a bit but there’s nothing wrong with having an opinion and you always knew what you’d get from him.

“As a manager, you could trust him to do whatever you asked. He might not always be an eight out of 10 but you knew he’d give everything.

“You need people like that, particularly at this level, who will go out and not get affected by things like if the pitch isn’t perfect or it’s not nice weather.

“You could send Flynny out in a t-shirt when it’s pouring down with rain and you’d get the same performance out of him.

“He was a good professional as a player, a winner, and I’m sure he’s taken that into his management.”

The Welsh side have won five of their seven league games and will pose a tough test at Valley Parade.

But McCall believes City, who have lost one out of six, are finding their feet in the weird environment of playing the season behind closed doors.

He said: “I listened to the Champions’ League games the other night and people were saying maybe Man City are not up to speed yet and making excuses.

“But we’ve been in for a while and are working hard. It comes to a stage where we’re two months in and should be beginning to see the best of them.

“I missed it so much when I was out and I’m relishing every moment of coming into training, coaching the players and having games to look forward to.

“But I can imagine it would be 10 times that if we could start getting supporters in here.

“As much as we’re fortunate to be playing, it’s naturally not the same without having any crowd or atmosphere.

“We’ve got to make sure that when fans are allowed in, we’re up and about it.”

McCall kept an unchanged team against Walsall in midweek but may look to alter things as the schedule gets busier.

Reece Staunton is fit to return after missing the last two games with an ankle problem. Bryce Hosannah is still feeling discomfort with his toe and faces a late check.

McCall said: “Look at the data from the other night and we covered quite a few more metres than we did against Mansfield. But the high-intensity running was half.

“That’s what tells you there is going to be a drop-off if you go three or four games back to back.

"Some players have got the fitness capacity to do it, the other ones will need freshening up.”

Mansfield have confirmed that Mal Benning, who came on at half-time against City last week, has tested positive for COVID.

McCall said: “We followed all the protocols as did they and none of the others have shown any symptoms. As long as you're social-distancing, it shouldn't go through the club."