York City boss calls for Smith and Kerr to provide midfield drive

York Press: York City’s Jonathan Smith celebrates a goal with team-mate Scott Kerr when the pair first struck up a midfield partnership at Bootham Crescent York City’s Jonathan Smith celebrates a goal with team-mate Scott Kerr when the pair first struck up a midfield partnership at Bootham Crescent

JONATHAN Smith and Scott Kerr are being challenged to become the midfield “driving forces” they have been in the past for York City.

The pair are poised to start alongside each other for the first time since Smith’s return to Bootham Crescent this summer.

They have only shared a pitch in City colours this season for 12 brief minutes, spread over three games, in between Kerr’s comeback from cruciate knee ligament damage and Smith’s one-month loan transfer to Luton Town.

Smith, who rejoined City after winning a League Two championship-winners medal with Swindon last season, now looks set to renew a partnership with Kerr that saw City win eight and lose only one of their ten home games when both were in the same starting line-up during the second half of the 2010/11 season.

In contrast, prior to entertaining struggling Bristol Rovers tomorrow, the Minstermen have won only two of their last 13 Bootham Crescent fixtures.

On the possibility of pitching Smith and Kerr together for the first time since April 2011, during a 1-0 home win over Luton when the latter was actually sent off midway through the second half, Mills said: “They can both be driving forces in the middle of the park. There was a time when they hit it off and playing them together worked very, very well.

“It might just be time to put them back in there together so they can complement each other again because that’s what we all need.”

Mills chose to recall Smith from Kenilworth Road instead of bringing back Lee Bullock, who remains at Gateshead.

On that decision, the Minstermen boss explained: “I’m quite happy for Bully to stay at Gateshead. He’s a different type of player to Jonathan Smith.

“We need somebody who gets on the front foot and makes things happen, which Jonathan does when he’s at his best.”

Lanre Oyebanjo remains a doubt for the Rovers clash, having struggled to train this week following the hamstring tweak that caused him to miss last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Plymouth and utility man Jon Challinor could also miss out with a minor knee problem.

Mills, meanwhile, has urged his team to discover a level of consistency in their play after retaining the same starting line-up that impressively beat Rochdale for the disappointing Plymouth match.

He said: “We’ve been hit and miss a little bit over the last few weeks. We’ve played very well in patches and very poorly in other patches.

“Maybe that was always going to be the case, as much as it frustrates me, because this season’s a learning process for a lot of our players, but we need to be more consistent individually and as a team.

“I thought we were excellent at Rochdale and then we were the complete opposite at Plymouth.

“Good players and teams are consistent so Plymouth has got to be a one-off because we can’t expect to put in performances like that and do well this season.”

Mills has also called on his players and supporters to be patient tomorrow against second-bottom Rovers and demanded more endeavour from his team than was in evidence at Home Park.

“We’ve got to play our game and not panic if we haven’t scored in the first 30 or 60 minutes,” the City chief reasoned. “We’ve got to keep our shape and discipline because it’s a tough, tough league.

“Plymouth showed how much they wanted three points last week and I don’t think Bristol Rovers will be any different.

“They will work hard and we’ve got to match or better that because, sometimes, hard work on its own can get you a result.

“If we then pass it how we can, we are a tough team to beat. There’s no excuses, though, for not working hard and my players will have learned that from last weekend.”

Comments (9)

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12:58pm Fri 14 Dec 12

YorkCityLuke says...

Not a bad idea, but not the most creative midfield options; they're both kind of solid, hard-hitting defensive midfield types. Hopefully they will win enough second balls in midfield to starve Bristol of possession.
Not a bad idea, but not the most creative midfield options; they're both kind of solid, hard-hitting defensive midfield types. Hopefully they will win enough second balls in midfield to starve Bristol of possession. YorkCityLuke

1:43pm Fri 14 Dec 12

tips says...

Maybe we need to rough it up a bit in midfield rather than be knocked off the ball by the opposition as in recent home games.
We have the players to create the chances so let's get in their faces and take our chances
Come on you reds !!!!
Maybe we need to rough it up a bit in midfield rather than be knocked off the ball by the opposition as in recent home games. We have the players to create the chances so let's get in their faces and take our chances Come on you reds !!!! tips

2:07pm Fri 14 Dec 12

DavidBu says...

"Lets have someone who can lift the team when we play badly like today....," says a "fan" after last week's game, along with others who keep on knocking.
Actually, I agree; that someone is You the supporter who can and should do some supporting.
Almost half the league is not doing as well as we are. If every side was perfect it would be tied on points, both at the top and the bottom of the table, with all the other 23 clubs!
Come on City, try to do us proud tommorow. Games against the Bristol clubs have never been easy
"Lets have someone who can lift the team when we play badly like today....," says a "fan" after last week's game, along with others who keep on knocking. Actually, I agree; that someone is You the supporter who can and should do some supporting. Almost half the league is not doing as well as we are. If every side was perfect it would be tied on points, both at the top and the bottom of the table, with all the other 23 clubs! Come on City, try to do us proud tommorow. Games against the Bristol clubs have never been easy DavidBu

3:12pm Fri 14 Dec 12

paintitred says...

Bulllock recalled from Gateshead
Bulllock recalled from Gateshead paintitred

3:23pm Fri 14 Dec 12

long distance depressive says...

At least we can get Blair back up right and give Chambers a rest!
At least we can get Blair back up right and give Chambers a rest! long distance depressive

3:44pm Fri 14 Dec 12

The_Baron89 says...

paintitred wrote:
Bulllock recalled from Gateshead
If that's true I imagine it's more to do with Ian Bogie's sacking than any tactical reason.
[quote][p][bold]paintitred[/bold] wrote: Bulllock recalled from Gateshead[/p][/quote]If that's true I imagine it's more to do with Ian Bogie's sacking than any tactical reason. The_Baron89

3:55pm Fri 14 Dec 12

paintitred says...

the story is on the clubs website, so i recon its offical Tb89
the story is on the clubs website, so i recon its offical Tb89 paintitred

4:41pm Fri 14 Dec 12

The_Baron89 says...

paintitred wrote:
the story is on the clubs website, so i recon its offical Tb89
Good shout, I dare say you're right then.

Can't see Bullock starting tomorrow though. I remember Mills saying he got on well with Ian Bogie when Bully first went there so I'd say this was a reaction to his dismissal.
[quote][p][bold]paintitred[/bold] wrote: the story is on the clubs website, so i recon its offical Tb89[/p][/quote]Good shout, I dare say you're right then. Can't see Bullock starting tomorrow though. I remember Mills saying he got on well with Ian Bogie when Bully first went there so I'd say this was a reaction to his dismissal. The_Baron89

12:35am Sat 15 Dec 12

GreenshawGrinder says...

Bully recalled, great, lovely, super, smashing, you've won a speedboat! Some of our younger posters might not be up to speed with this one!
Bully recalled, great, lovely, super, smashing, you've won a speedboat! Some of our younger posters might not be up to speed with this one! GreenshawGrinder

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