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JONATHAN Smith could still return to York City despite being quoted claiming he is “desperate” to stay at Luton Town.

The 26-year-old midfielder has started five matches for Luton having joined the non-League club on loan at the beginning of November after falling out of favour at Bootham Crescent.

City boss Gary Mills will reconsider next week whether to recall Smith or Lee Bullock, who has also been farmed out to Gateshead, with Danny Kearns’ return to Peterborough having left the squad short on midfield numbers.

Smith, though, has suggested to the Luton News that he would prefer to stay at Kenilworth Road.

Minstermen chief Mills is reserving judgement on those comments until he speaks to Smith himself, when a decision will be made on whether his future lies in North Yorkshire or Bedfordshire.

Mills said: “Players are what they are. He’s playing for them every week, which he wasn’t doing here, but I’m sure Jonathan did not mean his comments to be disrespectful to York.

“Sometimes players can be naive when a mic is put in front of them and sometimes people can construe things the wrong way. If he’s happy at Luton, he’s happy at Luton.

“There’s nothing wrong with saying you’re enjoying your football. But if he’s saying he wants to stay there and doesn’t want to come back here then that’s different.

“He’s not told me that and I’m sure he would have done because that’s the kind of relationship we have. I like Jonathan and we get on well, but I sent him there so maybe he was put out a bit by that, but football’s football.

“If he decides it’s not right for him to come back and he wants to stay at Luton then that might happen and we’d have to move on.” As well as expressing his desire to remain at Luton, Smith also praised the Hatters’ attendances and Blue Square Bet Premier title ambitions in the Luton News, saying: “I’m desperate to stay here as I’m really enjoying working under the gaffer and playing in front of a big crowd every week.

“Playing for a club with ambition of this size, that’s what I want. A team that’s challenging at the top, I think it brings out the best in me.

“Everyone wants to win the league here and I want to be a part of that, because I can see we can win the league.”