YORK City boss Jackie McNamara will consider starting veteran midfielder Jonathan Greening next weekend at Leyton Orient.

The 36-year-old midfielder inspired an improved second-half display during today’s 2-1 home defeat to Sky Bet League Two leaders Plymouth after coming on at half-time with the hosts trailing to goals from Jake Jervis and Graham Carey.

Teenager Ben Godfrey went on to score his first senior goal in stoppage time while ex-Manchester United playmaker Greening pulled the strings behind him.

With Luke Summerfield and Russell Penn both injured and Bryn Morris away on England under-20 international duty, City’s development phase coach Greening was asked to re-register on non-contract playing terms by McNamara ahead of the Pilgrims clash.

It was Greening’s first professional outing since a Championship fixture for Nottingham Forest 18 months but, when asked whether the former England under-21 international will come into his thoughts for his next starting XI, McNamara said: “We’ve still got players to come back but, from what I saw in the second half, why not?

“We might need to get him fitter because he’s only had one session with us, but he’s fit upstairs and that’s the most important thing.He’s got a great mentality.

“After everything he’s done in the game, he was like a little kid when I told him he would be involved and I hope that enthusiasm spreads right through the dressing room because that’s what the game is all about. It’s not a job, it’s a passion to play football and win games.

“All the management team and coaching staff would love to get their boots back on and the players should feel the same because they’re lucky to be in that position.”

On the difference Greening made following his introduction, McNamara added: “He took responsibility on the ball and settled us down.

“He brought calmness and passed that on to those around him. He kept the ball for us, didn’t go out of position and helped the whole team by giving us that bit of assurance.”

The City chief also reasoned that Greening’s presence allowed teenager Godfrey to make good use of his stamina, adding: “It’s been a massive week for young Ben at the age of 17.

“He’s started three games in three different competitions and now he’s got his first professional goal. He’s got a lot of energy and that’s the first time I’ve seen him getting in the box and he got his just rewards.

“Hopefully, he can get a few more goals and I think having that protection behind him helped. It gave him the freedom to get forward.”

But McNamara was still left lamenting two more poorly-conceded goals and a first half when he felt his team, who have taken just three points from a possible 21 at home, were gripped by anxiety.

“We had three players chasing their winger before the first goal and then their striker got the run on our centre half to chest the ball in and, for the second one, their player got to the byline too easily,” he pointed out.

“There was also too much fear in the first half. Nobody was taking responsibility on the ball and we were relying on our left back bombing forward to make things happen.

“We’ve got to take that fear out of them so they can play like they did in the second half for the whole game. Fans want to see players attack rather than retreat and, when we did that later on, the fans responded.

“David Tutonda went at them eventually and, by just being positive, it resulted in a goal against the team who are top of the league. I was also happier with our fitness levels.

“We had the energy to play right through to the ten minutes of stoppage time and that was a positive. The players showed they can hold their own against the team who are top of the league because there wasn’t much in it.”

On-loan Oldham striker Rhys Turner made way for Greening at the break with McNamara feeling he was one of the players suffering most from stage fright.

“We’ll sit down and go through that with him,” the City boss explained. “He has the ability to hurt players and go past them because he showed that in the FA Cup but he looked tentative like many others and I thought the best thing was to take him out of it.”

The Minstermen are also hoping for good news on Dave Winfield, who was stretchered off with a head injury midway through the second half.

“He was responding when he left the field and, hopefully, it’s just a bit of concussion,” McNamara said. “It was concerning though in terms of the time it took to get the stretcher on.”