ANDY Cook and Alex Pattison are “highly doubtful” for City’s trip to Newport this weekend.

Mark Hughes has been hoping to get target man Cook back out there after missing the last four games.

But speaking in this afternoon’s pre-match press conference, the Bantams boss admitted he is not too hopeful - and suggested the Carabao Cup third-round home tie with Middlesbrough next week could be a more realistic target.

“It’s highly doubtful,” said Hughes. “If we can get some game time into them, it may be Tuesday. I’m more optimistic for next weekend.

“We’re getting a few closer to returns. Guys are dropping into training and doing parts of the session.

“We’re just trying to get them up to speed, the likes of Chappy (Harry Chapman) and Patto and Cooky as well.

“The injury list was a little bit more populated last week but now it’s starting to dilute a bit. We should be okay the next week or so.”

Hughes had brighter news on Tyler Smith who returned off the bench against Harrogate.

“Tyler’s okay. He’s had a couple of episodes where he’s just felt a little bit of tightness.

“We have to be mindful of where he’s at so he misses training for about a week then he’s able to come back.

“We’ve just got to get to the bottom of that and make sure he’s able to blast away and give us what he’s got.

“But he’s been okay this week, so he should be fine.”