DEREK Adams would back any move to bring back five substitutes as Covid continues to ravage the football schedule.

City are hoping to end a three-week exile with the trip to Barrow on New Year’s Day.

But Adams and his coaching staff have their hands full to get the squad match ready with several players still to return to full training after the high number of positive cases.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has called for the football authorities to reintroduce extra substitutions to aid player welfare – something that Adams would welcome with City’s current predicament.

The Bantams chief said: “It’s a difficult one. I didn’t want to have the five substitutes when it first came about because it obviously helps the clubs with bigger squads.

“That was the situation last season, although I did use it to my advantage in some games.

“But yeah, I can see the benefits of it because of the amount of cases we have had in squads.

“You’ve still got a good number of players not with us just now who are feeling the effects of it.”

The hold-up has also delayed Andy Cook and Charles Vernam from returning to the fray.

Cook would have been close to featuring on Boxing Day but the absence from the training ground has put back their recovery from injury.

“With this shutdown, they are seven to 10 days behind where they would have been if we’d had games over that period,” admitted Adams.

“The injuries have obviously healed because that’s given them more time. But they have missed out on some training and rehabilitation work as well.

“They have had 10 days where they haven’t had the same treatment or training that they would have had.”

City continue to assess the health and fitness of the returning players – with some unable to do any work at home last week because they were laid low by the virus.

“It’s been really difficult because some can’t go out the house,” said Adams.

“We’ve been lateral flow testing for the past week just to make sure we know where we are.

“Could we have got players out of their isolation quicker than the 10 days? Some could have, others couldn’t.

“Maybe that’s the reason why we tried to get the game on tonight but it was impossible because we didn’t have enough players for that.”

City should have been heading for Walsall this evening – the third game to have been called off after the Omicron variant hit the club.

The visit to Carlisle, the first of those to be postponed, has now been rearranged for Saturday, January 8.

It has been a testing time for Adams, who had a similar situation 12 months ago with Morecambe.

“It’s not something I’d like to have every year but we’ve had to deal with it for the last two seasons.

“It is important we understand the protocols that are in place and how many days a player is going to be out for.

“That obviously changed last week when the government reduced it to seven days. Then they had to have a negative test on the sixth day and seventh day.

“All these types of scenarios lead up to the postponement of the game.”