City are ready to take a “calculated risk” on Rhys Evans at Barnet.

The ever-present keeper has been pencilled in to play again on Saturday – even though he will not be able to take any goal kicks.

Stuart McCall has sounded out a couple of emergency-loan targets as back-up. But he is keeping his fingers crossed that Evans, who suffered a thigh strain in the Darlington game, will be able to pull through.

Evans was able to do some stretching exercises and jogging with sports therapist Adam Cook today. Providing there was no reaction tonight, he will be on the City coach travelling to London.

McCall said: “We’ve got a long list of keepers we could go for but it’s looking likely that Rhys might be available. He’s improved quite rapidly although it would mean him not kicking.

“It’s a calculated risk but we’ve got a keeper who’s been in all season, knows the back four and is playing well.

“We’ve made contact with certain people and if we have to go get another keeper we will do. But Rhys has got better with each day and hopefully he will be okay.

“Tony Roberts at Dagenham has gone through all season not being able to kick. It’s not ideal but putting that against someone coming in new who hasn’t got that understanding with the back four, we’re prepared to take that risk.”

Back-up Jon McLaughlin was in line to step up for his debut if Evans was ruled out. But the former Harrogate Town stopper suffered concussion in the closed-doors friendly against Doncaster on Wednesday and is now prevented from playing for a fortnight.

Young goalkeeper Matthew Convey, who returned from a loan spell at non-league Salford last week through injury, played the final half hour of the practice game and will travel to Barnet as a precaution.

Omar Daley is definitely out of City’s plans for Underhill. He is undergoing a scan tonight on his knee injury.

Joe Colbeck will replace him for his first start since he broke a bone in his foot at Grimsby in October.

McCall added: “It’s been unfortunate that we’ve not been able to get enough football in Joe over the last few weeks. He’s done a lot of running but that’s different to match fitness, though that will have done him good the other night and he’ll be raring to go.

“Omar isn’t as sore today which is good but we won’t know more until we get the result from the scan tomorrow afternoon.”

Barnet have won only once in 21 games but City will be wary of falling to another sucker punch like last season’s loss in stoppage time.

“Every manager uses the word but it is all about consistency now,” said McCall. “Even when you’re not at your best, you must stick at it and battle hard like we did on Tuesday.

“We’ve come through against three sides that were in the top six and managed to win two and draw the other.

“Now we go to a club who are looking over their shoulder at the teams at the bottom. Everyone’s playing for something.

“We got a right kick in the nether regions last year when Jason Puncheon scored in the 94th-minute after we’d hit the woodwork three times. “We know what to expect and it’s about having the right concentration and focus. We’re on a good run and it’s important to keep that going.”