Jonathan Smith back to battle for York City starting role

Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

JONATHAN Smith has been brought back to Bootham Crescent to try to inject some bite into the York City midfield.

The Preston-born 26-year-old, returned to training with the Minstermen yesterday after being recalled from his loan spell at non-League Luton Town.

City boss Gary Mills is making no promises to Smith in terms of a starting place for this weekend’s home match with Bristol Rovers, but admitted that his combative style of play would have perhaps benefited the team during Saturday’s disappointing 2-0 defeat at Plymouth.

“We are pleased to have him back,” Mills said of Smith. “We’ve lost a couple of players to injury so it’s nice to make the squad that little bit bigger and stronger.

“He’s been to Luton and had quite a few games and now I’m hoping he’ll step up to the mark back at York. He knows that he’s a good player and it’s down to him to force his way into my team by starting to do what he’s good at.

“Winning second balls is his game and one of his many strengths. We didn’t win enough on Saturday and that was a big reason behind our defeat.

“He wasn’t doing it to the level you’d expect from him before, but we’ve got him back to get him back to his best and to help us to start winning matches.”

After being re-signed for a second spell with the Minstermen from Swindon in the summer, where he won a League Two championship medal last season, Smith lost his starting place in mid-September.

He was allowed to leave for Luton in November.

Mills is now wondering whether Smith’s start to the campaign was affected in some way by an incomplete pre-season having spent a long period in dispute with Swindon, where he was frozen out by controversial manager Paulo di Canio.

“There’s no excuses fitness wise because he’s been playing week in, week out,” Mills pointed out. “But his fitness might possibly have been a factor before, because he did not have a proper pre-season.

“Swindon messed him around a bit but he always gives 100 per cent in whatever he does and I’m looking forward to making the decision as to whether I chose him in my XI or not.”

Smith returns despite being quoted as saying he was “desperate” to remain at Luton. But Mills believes his comments were taken out of context, adding: “I’ve not spoken to him about that.

“As I’ve said before, I don’t think any of what he said was meant to be disrespectful to York. People can get carried away, but he’s not the type of lad to cause any upset.”

Mills also confirmed that Lee Bullock will not be called back from his current loan spell with Gateshead.

Comments (9)

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12:49pm Wed 12 Dec 12

rick the artist says...

Difficult situation for Smith after his comments re Luton but it will demonstrate his professionalism and commitment over the next few games.
He has done well for them so I wish him well.
Difficult situation for Smith after his comments re Luton but it will demonstrate his professionalism and commitment over the next few games. He has done well for them so I wish him well. rick the artist
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Wed 12 Dec 12

RooBeck says...

I believe that GM should give this lad his head and get him straight into Saturday's starting XI and for Jonathan to respond with an all-out, 100% performance by injecting plenty of determination and desire into the side, in all parts of the pitch!! COYR.
I believe that GM should give this lad his head and get him straight into Saturday's starting XI and for Jonathan to respond with an all-out, 100% performance by injecting plenty of determination and desire into the side, in all parts of the pitch!! COYR. RooBeck
  • Score: 0

1:19pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Some old bloke says...

Jonathan Smith himself has been strangely quiet. I'm surprised the Press hasn't managed to get a quote from him regarding his return to City. Or maybe he's decided to keep a low profile after the way his previous statement was reported.
Hope he plays and does well on Saturday.
Jonathan Smith himself has been strangely quiet. I'm surprised the Press hasn't managed to get a quote from him regarding his return to City. Or maybe he's decided to keep a low profile after the way his previous statement was reported. Hope he plays and does well on Saturday. Some old bloke
  • Score: 0

3:09pm Wed 12 Dec 12

yorkiemike says...

GM is bound to play him on Sat when you read his comments so it will be down to him to put on a good show.Hope he doesn`t get carried away, we want to finish with 11 men!
Feel sorry for young Potts I suspect he`ll be "benched".Scores 2 goals then plays half a game and will probably be dropped.Reading the reports on Sat`s game it would seem there are a few contenders to leave out.
However,whatever team GM puts out we want a 100% committment from every player,anything less will not be good enough i.e.Wimbledon and Torquay.Bristol will be fighting for their lives.
GM is bound to play him on Sat when you read his comments so it will be down to him to put on a good show.Hope he doesn`t get carried away, we want to finish with 11 men! Feel sorry for young Potts I suspect he`ll be "benched".Scores 2 goals then plays half a game and will probably be dropped.Reading the reports on Sat`s game it would seem there are a few contenders to leave out. However,whatever team GM puts out we want a 100% committment from every player,anything less will not be good enough i.e.Wimbledon and Torquay.Bristol will be fighting for their lives. yorkiemike
  • Score: 0

5:20pm Wed 12 Dec 12

centre midfield says...

GM should start with the same starting 11 as on Saturday and give the players a chance to put things right, he does not give enough time for the likes of Potts and Reed to really stake a claim for a regular starting place and yet on the other side of this he will give certain players all the time in the world even when they are not performing week after week. Smith should never have gone out on loan so I'm glad to see him back but give Potts another chance at least but as GM states in the interview its "My team" so he'll play who he likes. On another note, I'm surprised he hasn't also recalled Bullock from Gateshead, we all know GM loves playing players out of position, I wonder if he has ever considered playing Bullock alongside Walker. Also a massive well done to Bradford City last night, who knows it could be York's turn next season.
GM should start with the same starting 11 as on Saturday and give the players a chance to put things right, he does not give enough time for the likes of Potts and Reed to really stake a claim for a regular starting place and yet on the other side of this he will give certain players all the time in the world even when they are not performing week after week. Smith should never have gone out on loan so I'm glad to see him back but give Potts another chance at least but as GM states in the interview its "My team" so he'll play who he likes. On another note, I'm surprised he hasn't also recalled Bullock from Gateshead, we all know GM loves playing players out of position, I wonder if he has ever considered playing Bullock alongside Walker. Also a massive well done to Bradford City last night, who knows it could be York's turn next season. centre midfield
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7:14pm Wed 12 Dec 12

OLD - HEAD says...

Surely GM has not re-called Smith to sit on the bench. If he does that then I cant see Jonathan Smith staying very long at York City. Luton fans are already saying that they want Smith back on a permanent deal. Evidently he had toughened up their mid-field during his loan stay. We could do with a bit of that, so its time for him to show us why we brought him back.
Surely GM has not re-called Smith to sit on the bench. If he does that then I cant see Jonathan Smith staying very long at York City. Luton fans are already saying that they want Smith back on a permanent deal. Evidently he had toughened up their mid-field during his loan stay. We could do with a bit of that, so its time for him to show us why we brought him back. OLD - HEAD
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Thu 13 Dec 12

TerryYork says...

Knew the Luton paper was making up quotes.
Knew the Luton paper was making up quotes. TerryYork
  • Score: 0

1:32pm Thu 13 Dec 12

PhilipInYork says...

Some old bloke wrote:
Jonathan Smith himself has been strangely quiet. I'm surprised the Press hasn't managed to get a quote from him regarding his return to City. Or maybe he's decided to keep a low profile after the way his previous statement was reported.
Hope he plays and does well on Saturday.
Probably shy of the media after the Luton rag made up those quotes.
[quote][p][bold]Some old bloke[/bold] wrote: Jonathan Smith himself has been strangely quiet. I'm surprised the Press hasn't managed to get a quote from him regarding his return to City. Or maybe he's decided to keep a low profile after the way his previous statement was reported. Hope he plays and does well on Saturday.[/p][/quote]Probably shy of the media after the Luton rag made up those quotes. PhilipInYork
  • Score: 0

1:54pm Thu 13 Dec 12

TerryYork says...

Probably, so long as he does a job for us. If not let him go back to Luton.

Shocking they are still struggling to get out of BSP. Even DIv 2 for them would be embarrassing.

The FA have a lot to answer for.
Probably, so long as he does a job for us. If not let him go back to Luton. Shocking they are still struggling to get out of BSP. Even DIv 2 for them would be embarrassing. The FA have a lot to answer for. TerryYork
  • Score: 0

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