Stuart McCall is facing the hardest call of his managerial career ahead of tonight’s home clash with Darlington.

City are hunting a fourth straight win to cement their place in the thick of the League Two promotion hunt.

But Graeme Lee’s return from suspension has presented McCall with a huge pre-match dilemma. Who to leave out at the back?

The skipper had played every game this season before Saturday’s win over Wycombe, when City claimed a third clean sheet on the bounce.

And McCall admitted: “It’s probably the most difficult decision I’ve had to make since I’ve been in charge. We’ve had three different back fours in the last three games and kept three clean sheets so everyone has played their part.

“Whoever gets left out tomorrow will feel hard done by and quite rightly. Someone is going to feel aggrieved but that’s part of management.”

With Darlington’s strength at set-pieces, McCall may opt for the extra height of Zesh Rehman over Paul Arnison at right back. Whatever he decides, the City chief anticipates another real battle for his confident troops.

He added: “Darlington will be even tougher than Wycombe with their strength and power all over the park. They are a big, physical side and we will have to be at our best again.

“I would think if we finish above Darlington, we will probably finish in the top three but we’ve got good results going hand in hand with excellent performances now and we want that to continue.”

Darlington have not played this month after three successive postponements but McCall insists City will be just as hungry as their action-starved opponents after Saturday’s win over Wycombe.

He said: “We were physically and mentally tired after the game but come yesterday morning, everyone was raring to go again.

“I remember at Rangers when we were chasing the league, three cups and doing well in Europe. We had almost 70 games that season but tiredness didn’t come into it because we were on a roll.

“When you are playing well and getting wins, you just want that next game to come along. This is another massive one for us but we go into it full of confidence.

“The game up there was one of our most disappointing performances. We never really threatened, even though we almost nicked a point.

“We will have to do better tonight and the way we’re playing at the moment, I know we can do that.”