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Elliott Whitehouse gets go-ahead for tenure at York City
SHEFFIELD United caretaker chief Chris Morgan is happy for York City loan signing Elliott Whitehouse to carry on furthering his football education at Bootham Crescent.
One of David Weir’s last decisions as Blades boss was to sanction an extension to Whitehouse’s stay with the Minstermen and Morgan, placed in temporary charge on Sunday, has told the teenage midfielder that arrangement is unlikely to change for as long as he is at the helm of the struggling League One outfit.
But Morgan has also informed Whitehouse that a new managerial appointment at Bramall Lane might see the club recall him with 24 hours’ notice.
On his immediate future, Whitehouse said: “I’ve spoken to Morgs a few times and he has told me that he just wants me to get games under my belt, as I do too.
“I don’t think it would be good to go back there at the moment to perhaps then go back out on loan at a later stage.
“He’s happy with me staying at York but he did say that, if a new manager comes along, there might be a chance that I have to go back.”
Whitehouse captained Sheffield United in the 2011 FA Youth Cup final against Manchester United but, despite making five first-team appearances last term, was overlooked for selection by new boss Weir at the start of the current campaign.
His former under-18 team-mates Harry Maguire and George Long, meanwhile, have established themselves in the senior side with Callum McFadzean and Joe Ironside, who also played against the Red Devils in that final, managing 14 outings between themselves in 2013/14.
On the extension to his stay with the Minstermen, Whitehouse added: “My chance at Sheffield United came last season but then I got injured.
“I tried to push for a first-team place by working hard in pre-season but I was not in the manager’s plans.
“That was a bit disappointing but the alternative was to go out on loan and I am more than happy to be at York at this moment in time and all I am thinking about is making this club my main focus until January.
“I just want to play games and I would feel the same if I got recalled by Sheffield United.
“Either way I would be happy, as long as I was playing, because I want to get the experience I need at my age and push on.
“It’s the last season of my contract now, so I have to keep performing well and working hard to impress people and get my name about.
“Then I could get a new offer from Sheffield United, at York or with another club.
“With the extension, I have the chance to keep myself in the starting XI and play every week, which is what I want to do.”
Whitehouse has played four League games since his arrival from South Yorkshire and reckons the progress made by City since his debut in the 2-1 home defeat to Mansfield has been very encouraging.
Seven points from a possible nine have been taken with a 1-1 draw at Wycombe followed by big victories over Portsmouth (4-2) and Torquay (3-0).
“I thought we learned a lot from that Mansfield match and have grown as a team since then,” Whitehouse reasoned. “The confidence that we had within the squad during training has been taken on to the field.
“I think we can go far now because we have a good group of lads both in a technical and physical sense.”
The Worksop-born, 19-year-old is also relishing working for City’s ex-Northern Ireland and Norwich boss Nigel Worthington.
He said: “He’s been there and done it as a player and a manager and, from the first day I came in, he sat me down and told me what he wanted from me.
“I said I will try my best to do that and, every day since, he has given me advice which has proven helpful in training and during games. He’s a top guy and I am grateful he has brought me to this club and looked after me.”
Whitehouse and summer signing Lewis Montrose, above, have now established themselves as the first-choice central-midfield pairing in Worthington’s 4-4-2 formation and, on their compatibility, the former added: “Monty’s a good guy who likes to get about the pitch.
“He’s good technically and he’s helped me fit in the centre of midfield. He’s talked me through it and we have a good bond and understanding now.”
Having missed a great chance to claim his first senior goal when he headed wide against Rotherham in the club’s last match, Whitehouse is also determined to start demonstrating the potency he displayed to top the youth and reserve team’s goal charts at Bramall Lane.
“I used to score quite a lot and I like to make runs into the box to try and get on the end of things,” Whitehouse admitted. “I’m looking to score as many as I can now and, hopefully, as soon as possible.”
City are making their first Football League visit to Newport for almost 27 years. On November 4, 1986, they drew a Division Three (League One) fixture at Somerton Park 1-1.
Keith Walwyn was the marksman and the line-up was: Leaning, Senior, Hood, McAughtrie, Whitehead, Haslegrave, Ford, Banton (Gabbiadini), Walwyn, Mills, Pearce.
In total, they have made 15 League trips to South Wales winning three times and drawing six. The last victory was 3-0 in 1970/71.
City lost both their Conference matches at Newport. The last time the clubs met was in May 2012 at Wembley in the FA Trophy final.
It happened on October 19
1946: A then record Bootham Crescent crowd for a League match – 15,485 – saw Division Three North leaders Doncaster Rovers beat City 4-1. Jack Pinder scored the consolation goal from the penalty spot.
1974: City moved up to fifth in Division Two (Championship) – their highest ever postion in the Football League – following a 3-2 win at Oldham Athletic. On the scoresheet were Barry Lyons, Ian Holmes and Jimmy Seal.
1979: Kevin Randall and Peter Lorimer scored in a 2-1 Fourth Division (League Two) win at Tranmere Rovers.
1996: A 2-1 home win over Rotherham in the Second Division (League One) with Nigel Pepper and Paul Stephenson on target.
Compiled by David Batters
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