RICHARD Brodie has been challenged to come back from his loan spell at Macclesfield fully fit by York City boss Gary Mills.

The seven-goal top scorer’s future at Bootham Crescent looks bleak following his farming out to Cheshire amidst criticism of his physical and mental condition.

But Mills is not completely ruling out a return when Brodie’s temporary switch comes to an end on January 1.

The ex-Newcastle Benfield forward made hus Macc debut as an 88th-minute substitute during a 2-1 win at Aldershot and the City boss added: “The door’s not closed on him because he’s only out on loan so, if he comes back fit, we’ll have to wait and see.

“But you have to be fit mentally and physically to succeed in this league and that’s why he isn’t here, so we’ve got to get somebody in to do the job up there or, if not, it’s got to be somebody within the building. We still need two or three more quality players and I feel we need to find a striker with a presence.

"Sean Newton made a difference when he went up there against Dagenham by winning a few headers and getting a couple of shots away. I missed out on two forwards last week who went elsewhere, which was disappointing, but we’ll keep plugging away to find them.

"I think we need another centre half as well, but I don’t want to just go out and get the wrong players. I’ve got a couple I’d like to bring in and, while that might not be simple, the chairman is giving me everything I need to go and do that.”

Left-back Newton was thrown forward as City looked for a greater attacking threat late on in the 2-0 home defeat to Dagenham and, whilst it would be a reluctant move, Mills admitted that the former Wrexham captain could be considered for the role from the start in the absence of a new recruit.

“It’s an option that crosses your mind because, having worked with him for a while now, I know what I will get from Newts,” Mills reasoned. “He wins his headers and, if you give him half-a-chance on his left foot, he will stick it in the back of the net.

“We do need somebody like him up there, but you have to think about whether we would miss him on the other side of the pitch.”