TWO-GOAL hero Michael Potts has been told he has to continue producing the goods if he is to come off the transfer list at York City.
Potts, making his first start of the season and only his third in league fixtures since arriving at Bootham Crescent in the summer of 2011, bagged a brace in Saturday’s 3-2 victory at Rochdale as the Minstermen enjoyed their first win in eight matches.
The 21-year-old midfielder was handed a rare chance to impress due to Danny Kearns’ return to parent club Peterborough last week.
City boss Gary Mills was delighted with his response, but now wants Potts to maintain those standards and prove he has a future at Bootham Crescent.
Mills said: “Football is basic. If you are playing well and doing your job, you play but, if you’re not doing your job as well as you should, you go on the transfer list and go and play somewhere else.
“Pottsy knows that but sometimes, out of adversity, something happens. He would not have played if Kearnsy had still been here, but we’ve not kept the ball as well as I would have liked recently and I know Pottsy will do that.
“I wanted him to show me what a player he can be and he certainly took that chance. I’ve always known he’s my type of player who can play how I like my teams to play.
“He lacks that yard of pace, which is to his detriment a little bit, but he will be mentally and physically sharper after Saturday’s game. It’s one game though and he’s got to continue doing what he’s done if I decide to play him in the next match.”
The City boss added that Potts’ attitude during his long absence from the team has been exemplary.
Mills said: “He’s not even been on the bench at times but he’s kept smiling and worked hard and has been a credit to himself and the profession.
“A lot of players would be upsetting the dressing room but not Pottsy, so I’m really pleased for him.”
Mills will watch Gateshead’s home match with Grimsby tomorrow night as he mulls over whether to call Lee Bullock back from his loan spell with the north-east Blue Square Bet Premier outfit.
Another option is to recall Jonathan Smith from Luton, but Potts’ performance may have lessened the need for either decision.
“I’ve got to sit back with my coaching staff and decide whether we will call them back,” the City chief explained.
Mills added that he felt his team were deserved winners at Spotland over the weekend and described an opening 36 minutes, in which the visitors forged 3-0 in front thanks to Potts and Jason Walker, as “magnificent”.
He said: “We should have won some of the matches we haven’t in the last seven games and, although we’ve taken our knocks over a couple of performances, we’ve been good generally.
“We deserved the win on Saturday and I’ve kept saying that, if we took our chances, somebody would find themselves 3-0 or 4-0 down against us by half-time and that happened.
“We started the game excellently, our movement and ball retention was fantastic and that’s how I want us to play. We were put under a bit of pressure in the second half but it wasn’t a great deal and you have to expect that when you come away from home.
“In fact, I thought my team were superb and, for the first 36 minutes, bordered on magnificent.”
Mills recalled Walker and Ashley Chambers to his starting line up, fielding both alongside Matty Blair in last season’s first choice three-pronged strikeforce for only the sixth time this term.
On that decision, he said: “We went back to the three that have done really well for me. The two wide players have got pace to go past players and they are magnificent defensively as well.
“They know that’s part of their job in the system we play and are both willing to do it.”
Left-back Jamal Fyfield also earned praise from his manager for a series of raids down the flank that led to the opening goal and set the tone for the rest of the match.
He said: “We know he has that quality to put balls in because we’ve seen that over the last 12 months so it’s up to the other players to get on the end of them.”