YORK City boss Jackie McNamara has challenged farmed-out pair Emile Sinclair and Tom Platt to prove they still have a future at Bootham Crescent.

But John McCombe has played his last game for the Minstermen having agreed a severance package over the remainder of his contract and is being linked with a move to fellow Sky Bet League Two strugglers Hartlepool.

Sinclair, 28, has made a transfer-deadline day loan move to National League neighbours Guiseley, where he will spend the next month.

Former youth-team captain Platt, meanwhile, came on as a substitute for Harrogate Town at the weekend during the start of his fifth loan spell with the National League North outfit.

Injury-prone striker Sinclair has started just three league games for the Minstermen this term, while 22-year-old midfielder Platt has not made a single senior appearance during 2015/16 but McNamara is not closing the door on their York careers, saying: "We will be monitoring how Emile does.

"He's not been fit and he's been injured so he's hardly featured during the whole season. He's not completed a full match and knows he needs to go and show that he's fit first and foremost.

"Then, let's see how he does if he's playing games. It's the same with Tom Platt.

"He came on at the weekend for Harrogate and we will be watching how he does and getting feedback."

McCombe, meanwhile. has departed North Yorkshire having failed to play a single minute since McNamara's arrival in early November.

"John was one of the players I spoke to right at the start when I came here, along with a couple of others," the City chief explained. "From his point of view, he needs games somewhere else and he's had a chance to do that for five or six weeks."

McCombe is the fourth City player to have his contract terminated during January following on from the exits of Marvin McCoy, Eddie Nolan and Antony Straker, while Ben Godfrey also completed a six-figure switch to Premier League Norwich.

On his New Year cull, McNamara added: "None of it has been personal. They're all nice guys and good professionals but I've had to make big decisions to move the club forward."

The City boss is now happy for the current group of professionals to see the club through to the end of the campaign with five loan players - the maximum permitted in any matchday squad - currently on the books.

Kyle Cameron, Bradley Fewster, Luke Hendrie, Ntumba Massanka and Lubo Satka form that quintet, while Kenny McEvoy's loan move from Tottenham was made permanent this month, midfielder Matty Dixon signed from Hull City and unattached former Scotland international Derek Riordan also joined the club.

Previous loan recruits Will Boyle, Mark Kitching and Stefan O'Connor returned to their parent teams, meanwhile, early in the window and McNamara is happy to carry a reduced squad of 25 for the final three months of the season - a number that includes rookie trio Taron Hare, Callum Rzonca and Ben Hirst, as well as Reece Thompson, who has been suffering from a long-term illness since October. On his revamped roster, McNamara declared: "I feel we have the squad there now to help us move forward. Danny Galbraith and Kenny McEvoy have done really well during the last two games and Luke Hendrie has been exceptional since coming to the club.

"Matty Dixon has looked strong in midfield too and Kyle Cameron has done well at the back, while Bradley Fewster and Ntumba Massanka are playing their parts with Lubo Satka also waiting in the wings. There were one or two other things we were looking at that didn't quite come off in the window, but I also thought it was important to trim our numbers rather than keep extending them and we've managed to do that with seven going out of the club."