STUART McCall might have to make some unpopular calls as City prepare to get busy again.

After a free midweek, Saturday’s trip to Salford kicks off another hectic run up to the end of the year.

The Bantams play on five out of six Tuesday nights, including long hauls to Leyton Orient next week and Crawley.

McCall currently has five players missing through injury, although Zeli Ismail and Gareth Evans are now back in full training.

The City boss will scrutinise his squad carefully through another heavy period of games – and admits changes will have to be made, whether that means leaving players out or taking them off early.

McCall said: “We’ve just got to manage them the best we can and make sure they are ready whenever called upon.

“I’ve said to the players, that’s what a squad is about.

“You obviously need a bit of luck with everything that’s going on at the minute. Some teams have been decimated with COVID and then missed three games.

“You’ve got to be mindful of the players. As much as we want to keep them on the full 90, we’ve got to go by the science as well.

“There will be some decisions which people will think, ‘I can’t believe they’ve done that’.

“There will be some I’ll take that I probably don’t want to. But for the benefit of the player and the longer term, you’ve got to do it.”

Evans joined back in with the group again on Monday as he looks to kick-start his second spell at the club. He picked up a hamstring injury in only his second appearance and then suffered another setback.

“Evo’s done all his work with the physios and he’s back with us now doing all the footballing stuff,” added McCall.

“He’s been so frustrated. He wants to be out there and helping the team.

“He’s a good type and will be a welcome addition back to the squad definitely.”

City’s visit to the Peninsula Stadium may come too soon for him but midfielder Levi Sutton is available after completing his ban. McCall hopes his team have learned their lessons from the poor goals conceded in the Exeter draw.

He said: “We’ve got to try to cut out the individual errors. Learn from what we’ve been done by.

“Make sure that we do things differently when we are in those positions again.

“Individual mistakes are just a fact of football. Everyone will make them.

“You’ll never get criticism from me for trying to do the right things and it doesn’t come off. Nobody tries to put a cross behind the goal or shoot 40 yards over the bar.

“But it’s learning not to do the wrong things in the wrong areas.”

McCall watched Salford lose 2-0 at Bolton in Richie Wellens’ first game since taking over. But he believes the Bantams are confident enough to handle any reaction from the pre-season promotion favourites.

“I was sat not far behind Richie Wellens and you could tell he was very animated. I’m sure they will be really at it.

“But it’s a good game to look forward to. When you are in a decent bit of form yourself, you can’t wait for the next one regardless who you are playing.

“We’ll be going into the game in a positive frame of mind and looking to go and win there.”