YORK City are hoping to recruit on-loan Tottenham winger Kenny McEvoy on a permanent basis.
The Minstermen have agreed to extend Bradley Fewster’s loan spell from Middlesbrough, meanwhile, until the end of the season and are hoping a similar arrangement can be made with Huddersfield over centre-back Will Boyle.
Following a 1-0 defeat at fellow strugglers Yeovil that saw City return to the bottom of the Football League, Bootham Crescent chief Jackie McNamara is also planning to recruit a new right back and striker during the January transfer window.
McEvoy has only managed two starts for the Minstermen during his one-month switch from White Hart Lane, but made a lively second-half appearance in Somerset and McNamara reckons his speed will prove a strong asset during a vital four months for the club.
He said: “We’re hoping to make Kenny McEvoy’s move permanent. He’s been out of the team for the last two or three games because of the form of others, but we changed things around in the second half (at Yeovil) and he brought an injection of pace.
“I think that’s crucial at this level and, every time he gets on the ball, he puts a good cross into the box as well. We’ve also agreed with Middlesbrough that Brad Fewster will be staying with us until the end of the season, which I’m delighted about.
“He has got into some good positions during the last three games and, whilst he’s been a bit hesitant with his finishing, that will come.
“I’m hoping we can keep Will (Boyle) too. I think he’s keen to stay, so it’s just a matter of Huddersfield agreeing to it.”
Right-back Stefan O’Connor is expected to return to parent club Arsenal now, having suffered a groin injury at Huish Park, meaning midfielder Ben Godfrey became the fifth player in ten games to fill that role under McNamara following on from the transfer-listed Marvin McCoy, injured Eddie Nolan and loan recruit Jordan Lussey.
Whilst adding that Godfrey did well as a stop-gap measure, McNamara admitted he is hopeful that a specialist full back will be in place for City’s next match at home to Newport on January 16, saying: “Stefan’s loan is up now and he opened up his groin in the first half so had to come off after an hour and Ben Godfrey did very well there.
“I think he’s played right-sided centre half before for the youth team, but we will be working on bringing in another right back during the next two weeks. It’s an option to play Ben there, but it wouldn’t be ideal and I think it’s important we get someone in to help us.
“I’m working hard to do that and have got a few we’ve been looking at. It’s just a matter of getting the deals over the line.”
At left back, meanwhile, the City manager must decide whether to retain the services of Middlesbrough’s Mark Kitching, who has only featured once since his Riverside switch, with McNamara citing Femi Ilesanmi as a reason for his lack of opportunities.
“Mark Kitching was ill so he missed the trip, but Femi’s form has made it difficult for the lad,” McNamara reasoned. “I think Femi has been our most-improved player during the last few weeks.
“He’s done very well defensively and going forward at times, although we’re working with him to improve his work in the final third and that will come.”
On the desire to bring in cover and competition for target man Vadaine Oliver, McNamara also explained: “I still feel we need to add somebody else up there, because I’d like somebody to push Vadaine if he suffers a loss of form or come in if he gets injured or suspended.”
McNamara was left irate, meanwhile, by the penalty decision that saw Matthew Dolan score the only goal of the game at Yeovil with Luke Summerfield appearing to win the ball cleanly during a challenge on Francois Zoko.
He was equally as upset when McEvoy was booked for simulation rather than awarded a spot kick for the visitors late on.
“I felt that we should have won,” he declared. “We got into some encouraging positions and Danny Galbraith went very close on a couple of occasions.
“Other than our final pass and decision at times, there was nothing to worry about but a lot of decisions went against us. I didn’t believe their penalty should have been one at the time and, having looked at it again, I still don’t.
“Luke won the ball and the two players then collided with each other, so that’s frustrating. I also thought we had two good shouts for a penalty too. For the second one, Kenny McEvoy had his legs taken away, but the referee decided to book him and said he dived.
“I have to be careful with what words I choose, but I felt the decisions to give them a penalty and not us were the difference and cost us the game. I was irate at the end because these little things can hurt you when you’re down where we are.”
City started with a 4-4-2 formation against the Glovers with James Berrett lining up on the right side of midfield and Fewster operating as a centre forward, but switched between that system and the more familiar 4-3-3 line-up on a couple of occasions during the game.
On that decision, McNamara explained: “I think you always look at the last game and I thought we could combat their 4-3-3. We should have done that with the right balls through to Vadaine and Brad and I think the players are capable of adapting on the pitch from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1.”
Despite defeat seeing his team prop up the League again, McNamara remains confident that the club will steer themselves way from trouble in coming weeks.
“We have improved during the last few matches and can only get better,” he argued. “With the right recruitment, which is crucial, I’ve no doubt we can push up the table.
“At this moment, I’m disappointed, especially for the fans who we were really grateful to for coming to support us so far away and it’s really disappointing not to send them home with three points, let alone one. But that should be a motivation after putting so much effort into the game and losing it due to matters beyond our control.”