SIMON Heslop remains out in the cold at York City despite returning prematurely from his loan spell at Eastleigh.

The 30-year-old midfielder was farmed out to the Hampshire outfit after City boss Martin Gray revealed that he had declared that he did not want to play for his home-town club any more.

Eastleigh travel to fellow National League outfit Ebbsfleet in the FA Trophy tomorrow and, although Heslop is eligible to play for the Hampshire side with his loan agreement not expiring until midnight, it is thought the former Huntington School pupil did not want to be cup-tied if his future lies elsewhere.

As he is still officially out on loan, meanwhile, Heslop cannot play for City either tomorrow in their first round tie at Kidderminster, although Gray reiterated that he would not be considering the former skipper for selection in any case.

“He’s not eligible for selection this weekend and, whilst he’s back with us, we are looking to get him back out on loan,” Gray said, as he outlined his position on Heslop. “That’s the situation at this moment in time.

“He won’t be part of the club’s plans. He made it quite clear that he didn’t want to play for the club and he won’t be doing.”

City will face a Kidderminster team that have won all of their last three home games without conceding a goal and are unbeaten at Aggborough since the opening day of the season, but Gray declared that he wants his team to decide matters over 90 minutes and not look for a replay at Bootham Crescent on Tuesday night.

“It’s a really tough game against a really good footballing team, who have got better as the season has gone on after a poor start,” he reasoned.

“They also have a great manager with a good style and philosophy, but we’ve got to scrap, fight and be ruthless and I want to go there with a winning mentality. We don’t want a replay – we want to get the job done this weekend.”

The Minstermen will also make their journey to the Midlands with the benefit of more training time to focus on their opponents following the postponement of last weekend’s away match at Telford on the morning of the game.

“You never want to miss games and we had done all our prep work for Telford,” Gray revealed. “We were ready to leave at 10am, but we always thought it might be in doubt, even though they worked very hard to get the game on.

“We trained over the weekend instead, because you’ve got to make the most of your time. It’s too easy to give people days off and you have the chance to instil new things into players all the time.”