Lee Bullock is likely to be propelled straight into City's midfield at Accrington tomorrow afternoon.

The 26-year-old has joined on an initial one month's loan from Hartlepool after recent spells with Mansfield and Bury, who were keen to sign him permanently.

Bullock began his career with York, playing alongside Mark Bower and Barry Conlon, and made nearly 200 appearances for the Minstermen.

But he has found opportunities limited in his two years in the north-east - Saturday's second-half outing from the bench against Leyton Orient was his first of the season. At 6ft tall, Stuart McCall will be hoping he will provide the height and physical presence that City have lacked in the engine room.

McCall has also nailed down Kyle Nix on a new contract until the end of June.

He said: "From day one, Nixy has come in and done all we've asked of him. He's enthusiastic about everything on and off the pitch, played in different positions for us and couldn't have done any more.

"We know he's got the technical ability, he's tenacious and a good football player and has certainly deserved another deal.

"I know Kyle would have liked another year on top of that but if he keeps performing as well as he has done then we will look again in the summer. He can't afford to take his foot off the gas and he knows that."

Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu and Barnsley duo Tom Harban and Nathan Joynes left the club yesterday but McCall thanked them for their contribution.

"All three have shown a great attitude in difficult circumstances, particularly the two Barnsley lads. They always showed a great commitment in training and were a good part of the dressing room."

Striker Joynes, who started only one City game, is now expected to link up with Halifax, where he spent a couple of months last season.

Paul Evans is available again this afternoon after his one-game ban as City plot revenge for being thumped 3-0 by Stanley at Valley Parade three months ago.

Accrington sit eight points ahead of City after a run of three wins in four games, including back-to-back away victories over Christmas at Grimsby and Mansfield.

McCall admitted: "They've done ever so well, especially away from home where their form has been impressive, as they showed on our patch.

"That was without doubt our worst performance of the season. But as much as we gifted them the first two goals, they looked very comfortable and fully deserved the victory.

"But this is a new year now and we really need to be putting down a marker for the rest of the season. It's down to us to change things."

Paul Mullin and Andy Proctor have been on target each time in Accrington's successive 2-1 away wins - and 33-year-old Mullin has now bagged 11 for the season.

Mullin, whose contract is up in the summer, has netted in the last three games and long-serving boss John Coleman said: "Being a striker in my day, I know how the mentality goes and how it's important that you go on a roll.

"Each time you get on a run of two or three games consecutively scoring, it gives you that belief at the start of every game.

"You then find yourself getting into scoring positions that maybe you weren't in when stuck in a lean spell."

Central midfielder Ian Craney's loan spell from Swansea is up tomorrow.

If he cannot play, either David Brown or Sunderland youngster Billy Dennehy will be added to an otherwise unchanged line-up.

History may favour City, who triumphed 4-0 on their last visit in February 1960 shortly before Stanley dropped out of the league.

There has not been a home win in the last ten fixtures between the sides.

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