SHEFFIELD United’s decision to sanction an extension to midfielder Elliott Whitehouse’s loan stay with York City has “delighted” Bootham Crescent chief Nigel Worthington.

Whitehouse, who turns 20 later this month, has figured in every minute of the five matches City have played since his temporary switch from Bramall Lane.

He has been a key factor in the Minstermen’s climb out of the League Two relegation zone following emphatic back-to-back wins over Portsmouth and Torquay United.

The terms of the loan extension mean the Blades, currently languishing in the lower reaches of League One, could recall Whitehouse with a day’s notice at any stage, but Worthington is just pleased that he can continue to call on his services for the time being.

He said: “We will be keeping Elliott and I am delighted with that.

“He’s been a breath of fresh air and has come in and done really well for us. He has a great work ethic and we want that type of player in the area of the pitch he plays.

“For somebody so young, he also has a very mature head on his shoulders. When you play in midfield at this level, things are coming at you from all directions and he has coped with that well.

“He knows his job but is also happy to take instructions on board and I think he’s enjoying the opportunity to play we have given him here.

“His loan will roll on but Sheffield United can exercise their 24-hour recall clause at any time so, hopefully, the arrangement will suit both clubs and Elliott.”

First-team professionals Chris Dickinson and Mike Atkinson, meanwhile, have returned to City following their one-month loan spells at Northern League second division side Northallerton Town.

While right-back Atkinson only started one game for the Ainderby Road outfit, striker Dickinson managed six outings and scored one goal.

Dickinson also caught the eye in a 4-0 victory over Brandon United when he provided assists for all the game’s goals.

As a consequence, Northallerton were keen to keep the former Darlington apprentice but Worthington believes he would benefit more from another loan move to a team further up the non-League pyramid.

The City boss added: “They have both just completed their loans and they are coming back to be with us over the course of the next week or ten days but I am looking to see if they can take the next step if we can fix them up with somebody higher now.

“If we can’t, then we might revisit the Northallerton situation.

“Chris has done really well there and that’s why I would like him to step up to the next level to see if he can maintain that level of performance.”

City are without a game this weekend following the international call-ups for Sander Puri, Josh Carson, Ryan Brobbel and Chris Kettings.

Lanre Oyebanjo and Jamal Fyfield would have both been ruled out by injury for Sunday’s postponed home meeting with Scunthorpe but should return to training prior to the away match with Newport a week tomorrow when Michael Coulson (foot) is likely to be the only absentee.

Left-back Ben Davies is expected to recover from a minor thigh problem but, should he be struggling for the south Wales trip, Worthington added that on-loan right-back Luke O’Neill, who looks equally as comfortable with the ball on his left foot, could switch flanks.

“Luke could play there if needed,” the City boss said. “He is fairly adaptable which is good and it’s something we could look at.”

Wingers Carson and Brobbel will be hoping to play a part in Northern Ireland under-21s’ home match against Belgium this afternoon while, tonight, Puri is a member of the Estonia squad that will host a Turkey team still hoping to make the World Cup qualifying play-offs.