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Dominic Knowles in chance to impress York City boss Gary Mills
TRIALIST Dominic Knowles has been praised by York City boss Gary Mills following his goal-scoring display against Gateshead.
The 20-year-old is battling for a contract at Bootham Crescent after being released by Championship outfit Burnley at the end of last season and, after a lively cameo against Oldham last Saturday, he got on the scoresheet after starting at the International Stadium on Tuesday night.
It crowned another promising performance, with Mills saying he saw exactly what he wanted from Knowles – as the City boss continues to hunt for a player who can retain the ball and push Jason Walker for a place.
“I wanted to see something from Dominic and I thought he was excellent,” he said.
“For his goal, we squeezed the ball well and he was in a position to get the ball in the first place.
“He went round the ’keeper and it is still not easy to finish like he did. I thought he was excellent for us.”
Mills was also pleased with Knowles’ strike partner, Jamie Reed , and was delighted with the way Jonathan Smith fitted straight back into the action during his hour on the pitch following his return from Swindon Town.
“Reedy has done well,” he added. “There is competition there. Reedy did well when he came on during Saturday and he did well against Gateshead and I am really pleased.
“Jonathan is a good player and full of energy. That’s the first bit of football he has had. I think Swindon had just run him for four weeks.
“He’s happy to be at York and just get a feel of the ball. I like my players to work hard with the ball and Smudger has fitted straight back into that.”
It’s so far, so good for Mills in pre-season and the Minstermen chief was delighted to have dominated The Heed – a club his side have struggled against when they met in Blue Square Bet Premier action in the past.
He explained: “It’s about learning how to win games, how to kill games, keeping the ball, learning how we want to play, what shape we want – with and without the ball – and pre-season for me so far has been good.
“Even though we lost on Saturday, you get lessons from it and you take it on board. We came here and got a clean sheet which I think was the first time I have done that at Gateshead. I think it’s the first time I’ve come to Gateshead and we have dictated a game and dominated like we have.
“I knew it was going to be a tough game so, as a manager, even in pre-season, to come and win 2-0 I was delighted. They have been good. They are a good set of lads. Forget about the football, we have a good set. They have a good spirit, are good professionals, and so far, so good. We are getting ready.”