Stuart McCall wants his misfiring City side to look to Luke for inspiration.

McCall has been frustrated by the lack of consistency shown by his troops. But left back Luke O’Brien has been singled out as a notable exception.

The home-grown defender will be fit to face Grimsby after missing the Bury loss with a virus.

And McCall has hailed the string of level-headed performances from the youngster as the example for his team-mates to follow.

The City chief said: “OB is one of the first names on the team sheet and rightly so. He is giving us everything we ask for every time he plays.

“You know where you are with Luke’s performances week in, week out and that’s all you ask for as manager. We always talk about maintaining a good level of consistency and he’s achieved that – I wish we had more like him playing in the team.”

McCall will pick a team with an eye on Monday’s home clash with Darlington. The likes of Lee Bullock and Joe Colbeck, both still coming back from long-term injury, could struggle to play back-to-back matches.

Peter Thorne was rested at Bury as McCall went with the more physical presence of Barry Conlon up front alongside Steve Jones. It didn’t work and City’s top scorer is expected to regain his place in the firing line, with Jones likely to go back on the wing.

Thorne has been hampered by a chest infection but McCall said: “He’s managed to shrug that off now and is desperate to get back scoring goals again.

“Thorney is wily enough to know you’ve just got to stick at it and hopefully he’ll go on a run for us.”

McCall knows City must get back to winning ways on Saturday. But he knows the table can change quickly.

“At the end of the day it’s not where you are now in the table that counts. People are looking at our position and getting quite alarmed but that’s the way this league is.

“It’s so tight up there – Darlington went from second to eighth in one go and it’s happened to other teams. Now unfortunately it’s our turn.

“Most of the clubs up there have had ups and downs but it’s how you react. We’ve had a lot of draws and need to start winning again. It’s all about getting three points at the weekend.

“If the majority put in the level of performance they can do then I’ve got no worries about any other team in this league. But it’s no good somebody playing out of their skin for 45 minutes and then being invisible the game after.

“We had a team meeting today; not a doom and gloom one but just to refocus on what is needed.

“There is a psychology term saying that the next minute counts. If you’ve done something good, go out and do it again.

“You might do a great tackle or pass but rather than sitting back in the next minute you should look to do another one.”

Meanwhile, McCall faces a possible touchline ban after being charged with misconduct by the FA following his “sending off” at Luton. He has until February 13 to respond.

Luton boss Mick Harford is also in the dock for his behaviour to the referee after the game as well as his players for their reaction to City’s late penalty.