JACKIE McNamara has made it clear he is a very demanding manager during his first six weeks in charge of York City.

That has particularly been the case with players filling his old position as right-backs Marvin McCoy and Eddie Nolan have both come under critical scrutiny.

The ex-Celtic captain has now turned to Stefan O'Connor in his bid to address what he perceives to be a problem role in the team but, whatever McNamara expects, it is unlikely to be as daunting as the instructions delivered by Gunners assistant-manager Steve Bould as the teenage defender prepared to make his debut in the Champions League last season.

Recalling the biggest moment so far in his fledgling career, O'Connor smiled: "Mathieu Debuchy was struggling and Steve Bould told me to warm up, which I did for 20 minutes. I then sat back down on the bench and he said 'what are you sitting down for?'

"He told me Debuchy was injured and I was on. I asked if I could play at centre back because I had only played at right back in training but he said 'no, you're playing at right back because Debuchy's coming off'. He then told me just to do what he does!

"I thought 'how am I meant to do that, he's a French international', but it was fine and a dream come true. There were so many fans there and the atmosphere was crazy.

"It was a great experience to run on and look out on to the pitch with the likes of (Wesley) Sneijder on there. I had worked towards that moment for ten years and it made all of my family and friends proud.

"I made a few tackles and it was just about defending really because we were 3-0 up. Everyone was relaxed because the game was won but we also managed to nick another goal and the whole experience was great.

"I had trained with the first team the Sunday before and a couple of players told me I would be in the squad for Galatasaray. As a 17-year-old centre back, I thought 'whatever, no way', but Arsene Wenger told me it was true."

Having rubbed shoulders with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere regularly in training, O'Connor also revealed that there is one Emirates expert who is a cut above in his opinion.

"I've trained with the first team quite a bit because you have to prove to Arsene Wenger you are trustworthy first and Santi Cazorla is the best I've seen in training," he said. "His technique, balance and ability is second-to-none."

Other than his European outing in Turkey, O'Connor has been limited to under-21 appearances at Arsenal and admitted that the cut-and-thrust of League Two football did surprise him during his full City debut - the 5-1 home defeat to Accrington Stanley three weeks ago.

"Men's football is a lot more passionate and quicker with everyone more aggressive because it's all about results," he reasoned. "The under-21s is more about development and trying to practice playing out from the back.

"It's been a bit of a shock making the switch because you think you're ready for the first team but you step up and everyone is playing for their careers. As a loan player, you're looking for experience and to develop but you have to help the club and your team-mates out as well."

O'Connor went on to reveal that he chose City over other interested parties when mulling over a loan switch and, explaining the story behind his move, he said: "I was injured at the start of the season and, when I came back, I couldn't get back into the team because the player who had come in for me had done well.

"I had been thinking about a loan, though, since the end of last season so I spoke to my agent and Arsenal called me into a meeting. The academy manager said he had spoken to Arsene Wenger and they felt I was ready to go out on loan and get some experience.

"A few clubs came in but York seemed the best option because I thought I could play more football here."

Having moved out of the capital for the first time in his life, O'Connor is also enjoying the North Yorkshire hospitality, even if his hous-mates are fellow exiled Southerners.

"London's hectic with buildings everywhere and everybody is busy all the time, but it's a lot more relaxed up here and people are more talkative," he said. "If you get in a cab, the driver asks how you are and how your day has been, whereas in London everyone's just concentrating on getting to work or getting home.

"I'm living with Femi (Ilesanmi) and Jake (Hyde) and enjoying the banter. We share out the chores but I'm probably the messiest, because they're quite tidy.

"The first few days I was up here I was staying in a hotel and I was a bit homesick but it's good to have someone to come home to."

O'Connor also felt that last weekend's 2-1 stoppage-time defeat at Bristol Rovers suggested progress was being made at Bootham Crescent, as the team attempt to halt a losing run that has now stretched to a record-breaking nine games.

"My first game against Accrington wasn't great for the team or myself and things didn't start off on a good note," he confessed. "At Bristol, I thought the team improved a lot and I improved a lot.

"We were very unlucky to concede in the last two minutes of the game but, hopefully, we can use the performance as a stepping stone and push on. Dave Winfield was a solid figure at the back for us and his experience helped me and others around him with communication better through the whole team."

With his contract up at Arsenal in 18 months time, O'Connor is also hoping his loan spell can persuade his current team and parent club that he is worthy of a place in both squads beyond the current terms.

"I'd love to stay here longer than a month if possible and I'm hoping the loan can also help me earn a new contract at Arsenal and get me closer to the first team because that won't happen without loan experience," he reasoned.