FORMER Championship campaigner Sean McAllister still regards York City as a “huge club” and wants to help them take the first steps back to where they belong.

The Minstermen’s inexorable slide seems to show no sign of abating with the club currently sit mid-table in National League North after suffering back-to-back relegations.

But McAllister still recalls a Football League contest little more than three years ago when the team he has joined on loan from Grimsby thrashed a Scunthorpe side that he was part of and would go on to win promotion.

And, following his move from Blundell Park, McAllister declared: “It’s such a huge club that’s still run like a Football League club and that’s good to see.

“The good facilities and having their own training ground makes it that bit easier to attract players from higher up and this club needs to be in the National League minimum, but I believe it should be back in the Football League. There’s a lot of work to get the club back up there but, during the next month, I’ll be doing my utmost to help them.

“The season we got promoted at Scunthorpe, we were 4-0 down at Bootham Crescent inside 40 minutes and, if I can do the same playing there for York City against Blyth this weekend, I’ll be happy.”

McAllister’s contribution might only be fleeting, however, with the ex-Sheffield Wednesday midfielder still keen to prove his worth at Grimsby, where ankle and groin problems have limited him to five appearances in two seasons.

But he is not concerned about playing outside of the Football League for the first time in his career and also admitted that, living in Doncaster, the temporary switch suits him geographically over Christmas.

“It’s not a problem dropping down to this level,” McAllister explained. “I’ve had a long time without a run of matches and I need game time.

“I’m also pleasantly surprised by the standard of players at the club and, during the second half on Saturday, I felt we moved the ball around against Kidderminster sometimes better than what I’ve been used to in League Two. I don’t know where I stand at Grimsby and I’ll have to talk to them at the end of the month.

“I’ve been there a year-and-a-half and feel like I’ve not shown the fans what I can do. I’d like to get that opportunity, but we’ll see.

“I know I’ve got to get up to speed, because the manager at Grimsby couldn’t give me the opportunity to do that in matches. They’ve got the likes of Luke Summerfield and James Berrett there and brought Mitch Rose in over the summer, but I’ve been promoted twice from that league and feel I do have something to offer them.

“That will be up to the gaffer and I just need to give everything I can here first. I played two reserve games before I came here and I felt good and fit (on Saturday).

“The Telford game being called off was a bit gutting, because it meant I’d gone two-and-a-half weeks without a game, so it was almost like starting again, but I got 70 minutes at Kidderminster and that will help me get a bit sharper.”

McAllister also plans to make an impact both defensively and offensively during his loan spell.

The Bolton-born, 30-year-old primarily filled an anchoring role in Martin Gray’s 4-3-1-2 formation on his debut in the 2-1 FA Trophy defeat at Kidderminster.

But McAllister also feels he can contribute in an attacking sense, adding: “I’m a defensive-minded midfielder, but normally like being a bit further up the pitch.

“I don’t like being just restricted to sitting in front of the back four and I feel I’ve got the energy to get around the pitch quite well. I think I did that a bit more in the second half and we kept possession better.”

While recognising that Trophy success was not the club’s chief priority this term, meanwhile, McAllister does not subscribe to the cliched view that Saturday’s exit will mean there are now no unwelcome distractions to achieving objectives in the league. “The Trophy brought the club a bit of joy at the end of a pretty dismal season, so I’m gutted to be out of it,” he reasoned. “I always like playing cup games, because I just want to play matches, including extra ones.

“They never take my focus away, even though I know the most important thing is the league. It wasn’t to be at Kidderminster and a few heads went down after their first goal before we weren’t really alive for their second.

“That was the disappointing side of the game, but the reaction in the second half was great. It was an excellent finish from Amari (Morgan-Smith) and some of the football we played was really good.

“It was almost like the Alamo in the last 20 minutes and it felt like it was only a matter of time before we equalised, so we can look to take that into the Blyth game now.”

McAllister also believes fellow City debutant Alex Pattison will prove a good asset to the club during his one-month spell on the evidence of his display at Aggborough.

“He looked fit towards the end and was still making driving runs,” McAllister explained. “He’s got that attacking instinct in his game and I think he’ll have something to offer and score a few goals whilst he’s here.”

With Pattison only 20, McAllister is ready to mentor the Middlesbrough reserve too and pass on the knowledge that he received from more experienced players when he was a similar age.

“I had people like Steve Watson and Chris Marsden around me when I was at Sheffield Wednesday and they were experienced players who helped me along,” McAllister said. “Glenn Whelan was also a young pro at the time, but I learned bits off him so, if the lads see what I do and it helps them, then great.

“Part of my game is talking on the pitch and trying to get the best out of my team-mates but, if they feel they need to say something that crosses their mind about my game, I’m happy with that too.”