Phil Parkinson has told City’s fleet of forwards: Show me why I shouldn’t go to the January sales.

Parkinson had lined up a six-figure move for his Charlton old boy Paul Benson in the next transfer window.

That deal collapsed on medical concerns but the City boss is confident the cash is still there to splash if needed.

In the meantime, Parkinson has thrown down the gauntlet to his current frontmen to ensure the money stays in his pocket.

He said: “It’s up to the strikers we’ve got in the building to say ‘don’t spend it’. I want every performance to show me that ‘I’m the man and I’m good enough to get the goals’.

“It was a great response from Ross Hannah and James Hanson on Saturday. James was excellent and played as if he had a point to prove.

“They’ve got between now and January to convince us – and it’s the same with the other strikers at the club. They have to prove they are the people to take the club forward.”

Goals remain a problem for City, with only 20 from 19 League Two games so far. Just three sides in the division have scored less.

That was why Parkinson was so keen to tie up Benson before last week’s loan deadline. After City pulled the plug, he has turned his sights to other targets.

“If I can make a case with Mark (Lawn) and Julian (Rhodes) for a player who’s going to benefit the team, then I’m sure they will find the money,” said Parkinson.

“Of course we’ve got several players we are looking at. But being outside the transfer window, there weren’t many strikers we could get on loan who I believe would improve us considerably.

“There isn’t an abundance of those players around. That’s why we pushed the boat out to get Benno.

“January is going to be busy. We’ve got a lot of loan players and deals need sorting, so there’s a lot of work to do.”

Wimbledon’s visit in the FA Cup on Saturday kicks off a knock-out double header for City and Parkinson is hoping they can build on the valuable draw gleaned from Gillingham.

He said: “It was very important we went into the cup games in a positive mindset. The result from Saturday, even though it was only one point, should give us that.

“All round we looked a decent, balanced team. Now we must take that forward.

“We’ve got to eradicate those off days. Every manager is searching for that week in, week out performance.

“Sometimes with injuries and suspensions, the team changes and it makes it more difficult to get that.

“But we’ve got some key players back at the moment with Simon Ramsden and Andrew Davies. We’ve got to get them through a good week’s training and get some game time under their belts.”