RECALLED right-back Marvin McCoy is in no mood to surrender his York City starting place to on-loan Middlesbrough teenager Brad Halliday for a second time.

McCoy returned to the City first XI for Sunday’s 3-0 victory at Carlisle as Halliday begun a three-match ban following his red card for dangerous play during the 1-0 home win over Accrington on Boxing Day.

Redcar-born Halliday became a quick fans’ favourite after being preferred to McCoy earlier this month, winning back-to-back sponsors' man-of-the-match awards at Bootham Crescent even for Friday’s fixture following his dismissal.

Halliday’s call-up for his full professional debut came on the last day of his initial one-month loan spell.

That has since been extended into the middle of next month but McCoy, who had played every minute of the season prior to seeing Halliday preferred in his position for three matches, does not want to return to the bench once the latter’s suspension expires following next month’s trip to the former’s old club Wycombe.

“Nobody ever wants to be dropped or to not start games, so I wanted to make sure I put in a good performance (at Carlisle) to, hopefully, get my shirt back,” McCoy pointed out.

“When you get taken out of the team, you are always disappointed and it’s healthy to feel like that.

“It’s all about how you react. Brad has done well but he was unfortunate to get a red card against Accrington and, like him, I will be trying to keep my place now.

“The manager is asking me to give him a headache and I feel like I have done that. I’ve got to try and stay consistent now, “I’ve been pleased with my form this season, but the wins haven’t been coming. Hopefully, that will change now and we will get more points on the board.”

McCoy’s last start before the Carlisle game came during November’s 1-1 draw at promotion hopefuls Plymouth.

The return fixture will now be staged at Bootham Crescent on Saturday with McCoy feeling that the Devon visitors’ chief threat will be posed by a 21-goal strikeforce that has seen Reuben Reid hit the target 13 times and Lewis Alessandra net on eight occasions this term.

On the challenge presented by the Pilgrims, the 26-year-old defender added: “They are a good side who keep the ball well and have a threat up front but, if we can nullify them and keep them at bay, I think we can score some goals and cause them a few problems.”

McCoy has also reasoned that the team’s first home win of the campaign against Accrington in their last Bootham Crescent outing, which ended a 13-match run dating back to April without a triumph on their own soil, will lift a big burden on the players.

He said: “Just to get that out of the way was massive because it does start to play on your mind a bit but, now, we can play with no pressure and freely to try and get the same result again.”

Walthamstow-born McCoy added that he was unsurprised by City’s ability to meet the physical test of trying to collect six points in three days from two festive fixtures.

Along with Josh Carson, he was one of only two changes - both enforced - to the starting line up at Carlisle and McCoy said: “It’s always tough playing two games over the Christmas period but we dealt with it really well and backed up our Boxing Day result with another three points, which was big.

“We’ve got a good squad and we are all fit, so I wasn’t surprised at all with how well we coped with two games in three days. We dig in for each other anyway if somebody is tired and that showed in another good performance.”

McCoy now believes the team can look forward with belief having confessed that the stoppage-time goals conceded in each of the club’s opening fixtures this term probably took their toll mentally during the first half of the campaign.

“I’ve been pleased with the boys since coming here,” McCoy insisted. “We perhaps lost a bit of confidence after those first few games but we are scoring goals and keeping clean sheets now, so long may that continue.”