YORK City boss Gary Mills says he has learned what is required to get out of League Two and believes he won’t need to sacrifice his football principles in order to guide the Minstermen to promotion.

Mills admits the first few months of the season have been a learning curve for him and his players but reckons his team will still be able to “play their way” into the third tier of the pyramid – whether that is this season or next.

“I have learned in the first half of the season where I feel we have to strengthen, what type of players we need to get out of this League. That’s our aim. We are hoping we can do it this season but if we don’t I’m hoping we can do it next season,” he said when asked to assess City’s campaign to date.

“I have learned what this League is all about. Without doubt. I honestly don’t think we are a million miles off but there is always room for improvement. I know now what we need and what we need to do to get out of this League.

“We are not going to change. People are saying it’s a tough league to get out of and you’ve got to be strong and you have to be direct. They told me that’s what you had to do in the Conference but we played our way out.

“And when we get out of this League it will be by playing our way out. I am not going to change my style. I am going to stick with my principles about how I want the game to be played. I still believe you can play your way out and we intend to do that.”

City are only four points off a play-off spot and Mills is looking for consistency, and a run of wins, to give them the opportunity to take part in the post-season. But if it takes another season to challenge, Mills said he was relaxed about that prospect as well.

He added: “It has been a weird season for me so far. We haven’t consistently played and won games.

“We have won a game, drawn a game and lost a couple. We haven’t really got going but, if you look at the League table and everyone is talking about how well Bradford are doing, we are six points behind them.

“My squad of players have done fantastically well and I know we have drawn a few games but you should never knock these draws because they give you the opportunity to get into the position we have already.

“A win could push us back up a few more places and could put us maybe two points off the play-offs. We are there at the moment and the test over the next three games at Christmas will be the opportunity to show we are able to compete with the teams above us.

“Or we will be in bits and bobs until the end of the season but finish mid-table. That would be a success for us in our first season back. I want to be in the top seven. I want to be in the top three and that’s not beyond us.

“But we need to start winning games and be more consistent – winning two and three back-to-back games – to just give us that opportunity to do that.”