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York City in talks over future of on-loan midfielder Elliott Whitehouse
PLAYING regular first-team football will be the biggest consideration for on-loan York City midfielder Elliott Whitehouse as he ponders his next career move in the New Year.
Whitehouse is due to be with the Minstermen until the first weekend of January and talks have already taken place between Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough and Bootham Crescent chief Nigel Worthington about extending that stay.
The Worksop-born 20-year-old, who is out of contract at Bramall Lane in the summer, expects his plans for the second half of the Football League season to be made clearer in the next fortnight and is not ruling out spending the rest of 2013/14 in North Yorkshire.
He said: “I have not spoken personally to the manager at Sheffield United but my agent has done and the gaffer at York has too. I am waiting to see what happens over the next couple of weeks to see what all parties are wanting to do.
“Sheffield United have been to watch me and said they are happy with my progress. Personally, I think the best thing for me is to be playing games, whether that’s back at Sheffield, here at York or, you never know, at another club.
“I know the manager here has spoken to the manager at Sheffield United so we will see what happens. The gaffer at York has said he is happy with me and I will be sitting down to weigh up my options in January.”
The end of Whitehouse’s loan spell with City coincides with a big FA Cup third round tie at Aston Villa for the Blades, but Whitehouse admitted he would rather be running out for Worthington’s men against Dagenham on that day than sitting on the bench or in the stands of one of the most-famous arenas in the country.
“When there are big games against big teams, you would love to be a part of them but, at the age of 20, I want to be playing League games and I would not want to go back to Sheffield United to either sit on the bench or not be involved at all,” Whitehouse reasoned.
“I want to gain experience that will help further my career.”
For now, Whitehouse is focused on helping City climb the League Two standings and addressing a struggle to capitalise on winning positions that has seen the team surrender 14 points this season.
On that statistic, he added: “We’ve taken the lead a few times this season but not managed to kill the game off and conceded some sloppy goals. Our aim must be to keep pushing for another goal while making sure everybody knows their jobs and we keep tight at the back.
“Scunthorpe was a good example of that when we scored a couple of early goals against them and kicked on from there to win 4-1. We need to repeat that through the rest of the season to turn those draws into wins and push up the table.”
Whitehouse is also hoping to contribute in front of goal and end a 21-game wait to open his professional account, saying: “I always try and make sure, first and foremost, that I am playing well but I am hoping to score some goals.
“I’ve had a few chances and come close, so I’ve just got to keep popping up in those positions and, hopefully, one will go in my favour and hit the back of the net.
“Now, my role is a bit more defensive and stable but I still get the opportunity to get forward and score.”
Table-topping Oxford are the next opponents at Bootham Crescent but, with the Minstermen having already beaten fifth-placed Scunthorpe this term and shared the spoils with other top-ten teams Chesterfield, Burton, Rochdale and Morecambe, Whitehouse said he fears no team.
“Oxford are doing really well but we have proven that we can handle the big teams like Chesterfield where we could have won,” he pointed out.
“There is nothing to be scared of, the team spirit is high and, all over the pitch, we have enough quality to be winning games and beating these teams.”
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