KEVIN McDonald is poised to pick himself for the Football League Trophy tonight.

City enter the competition with their opening group game at Grimsby.

The caretaker boss is expected to make changes after making a winning debut in charge against Swindon at the weekend.

And that is likely to include giving himself a run-out in midfield.

Skipper Richie Smallwood is expected to be one of the players given a breather after Saturday’s exertions – with McDonald set to fill his role again in the middle.

The big Scot admitted following the Swindon game that he had not given the Blundell Park trip much thought. But he intends to freshen things up to rest some tired legs.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: City celebrate their equaliser against Grimsby last monthCity celebrate their equaliser against Grimsby last month (Image: PA)

He said: “We need to see how everyone has recovered and if there are any knocks.

“We’ll look at that and the distance they’ve covered. I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t our best running stats of the season from every single one of them.

“I’d imagine it’s most likely that a couple of boys will be needing a rest. I know I would have done if I was Richie or somebody in there.

“We spoke about it as a group of staff in terms of being in charge for these couple of games.

“We’ve got a good squad, we’ve got a big, big squad so we’ll probably utilise that in certain areas and see from there.”

McDonald revealed he had been tempted to be involved in the 18 on Saturday but felt it was best to make a clean break so he could focus solely on coaching the team.

“I was tempted to play, for sure,” he added. “But that one game especially probably wasn’t the right time.

“As I said before, I wouldn’t want to commit to playing and coaching at the same time.

“I’d rather be 100 per cent on one but we’ve got good staff on that side of it.”

Player/managers have faded out of football in recent years after being a trend for a while. McDonald cannot see how you could combine both roles full time.

“I’ve not got an interest in being a player and a manager.

“Fair play to them because I don’t know how you would have done it, no clue.”

McDonald’s winning start has given City more time to consider their options for the next manager.

But the bookies have already reacted by installing the stand-in boss as evens favourite for the post.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The northern group F table as it stands ...The northern group F table as it stands ... (Image: Web)

“We want to excite fans in the short term,” said McDonald. “We want to play football and be attacking and we were the majority of the time.

“In terms of coaching and management, it’s always been on my mind especially these last few years.

“But I’ve always thought that I’ll do a bit of coaching first and get some more experience.

“There were times (on Saturday) when I needed to ask the bench and there were times I was close on things, to be fair, but these are things that come with experience.

“Management was a potential (aim) if I enjoyed the coaching and stuff. I don’t really know, it’s a long way but you never know.”

Grimsby, like Barnsley and Manchester City under-21s, have already played twice in northern Group F with one defeat and a draw.

League One Barnsley currently head the group on six points – four clear of second-placed Man City. The top two go through to the knock-out stages.