DEREK Adams welcomed Lee Angol’s City return tonight as he aired his frustration at the striker’s ban after a “game that didn’t exist”.

Angol is back in the fray for the trip to Tranmere having missed Saturday’s draw against Northampton.

The frontman’s comeback from his long hamstring lay-off was held up by suspension following his dismissal at Exeter – where the cards counted even though the FA wiped out the result.

Adams said: “It’s always been the case for years. Nobody agrees with it but we understand why it’s there.

“Maybe in the future they will look to try and overturn that.

“In our case, we’ve had yellow cards and a sending off for a game that didn’t exist. That’s the hardest thing but it’s been going on for years.

“The yellow and red cards stay but the goals don’t.

“We were just getting into a spell where I was able to take him off the bench and use him that way.

“But I think he’s getting there fitness-wise. It’s just the more minutes he can get, the stronger he will become.

“You look at our bench now and it’s really strong. That’s what we need going into these games that are coming along.”

Adams, who will make a late check on Oscar Threlkeld’s injured knee, has all other options bar Andy Cook available during an intense schedule over the coming weeks.

The visit to Prenton Park is the third of five successive midweek matches for the Bantams – including that return to Exeter next Tuesday.

“We have to be careful with everyone at this moment in time,” added the City boss. “Playing Saturday, Tuesday for so long, we just have to keep them ticking over.

“We obviously had the long journey and extra time in the FA Cup and it’s important just now to watch what they are doing.”

With six weeks to go before the transfer window, Adams is already drawing up his battle plans to boost the squad and has specific areas in mind.

“As a manager, you see your strengths and weaknesses in the first part of the season and then it’s up to you to iron things out in January. That’s what we intend to do.

“We intend to strengthen in the January window. Nobody will leave unless it’s a good deal for the football club or I decide it’s best for them to get game-time somewhere else.

“I’ve always been a manager who believes you do need to add in the January transfer window.

“If you’ve seen my record in January over the years it will tell you that. It’s quite clear that I like change.

“Last season was probably the only one where I didn’t. But when I go back to my former clubs, I always like to add players in the window because it does help the others.”

Adams ended Tranmere’s promotion hopes with Morecambe in last season’s play-off semi-finals and expects a physical tussle. Both sides are three points off the top seven but he is not bothered with current positions.

“This part of the season becomes busy because of the amount of fixtures you have. But I’ve never been one to look at the start or the middle because it doesn’t mean anything.

“You can go on a fabulous run with 10 games to go – when there are still 30 points to play for - if you’re in touching distance with the top of the table. I’ve been there, seen it and done it.

“A lot of supporters get wrapped up this is where you are in the league table. That’s natural throughout the world but it doesn’t matter at this moment in time.

“Tranmere are a very good football club. It’s always a great pitch to go to.

“The supporters make it intimidating. They are very good at that.

“Just from a footballing point of view, it’s a game between two good teams.”