YORK City have signalled their intention to keep on-loan Middlesbrough midfielder Alex Pattison until the end of the season.

Pattison, 20, won The Press Player of the Month award in December after making an impressive transition to senior football following his switch from the Riverside.

He also impressed during yesterday’s 2-0 National League North home victory over North Ferriby and City sporting director Dave Penney has revealed that Boro’s academy manager Craig Liddle would be happy for Pattison to continue his development at Bootham Crescent beyond the scheduled end of his current spell in mid-January.

Pattison had previously stated that he would be seeking a loan move to a Football League club during the current transfer window, but is understood to be enjoying his stint with the Minstermen and a decision on his future could rest with new Boro boss Tony Pulis.

A hopeful Penney, who added that the club would like to retain the services of fellow loanees Jonny Burn and Sean McAllister too, said: “There has been a change of manager now at Boro and that might change things. He’s also enjoying it here and everyone can see he’s a good footballer.

“He won’t want to go back to under-23 football now and we’ve spoke to Craig Liddle, who looks after him at Middlesbrough and he is quite happy for him to stay here. We’ve just got to get the OK from the manager who has just gone in and hasn’t seen him yet, but we’d like to extend his stay until the end of the season if possible.”

Pattison beat Jon Parkin to the final Player of the Month prize in 2017, despite the latter ending the year with five goals in two games.

The 36-year-old talisman also netted both goals against Ferriby to carry on in 2018 from where he left off, but Penney added that Pattison was a worthy winner of the December accolade, reasoning: “You can’t take away Jon’s goals and people will always see that, but Alex has shown desire and hunger since coming here.

“He closes people down, tackles, runs with the ball and carries the team forward.”

Penney went on to stress again, however, that other players must soon start sharing the burden of finding the back of the net with Parkin, whose brace took his tally to 23 for the season.

Amari Morgan-Smith and Sean Newton are next in City’s scoring charts with just four apiece and Penney pointed out: “North Ferriby came and frustrated us and went a bit tighter and sat a bit deeper after the Boxing Day game.

“At times, it was difficult to break them down and we didn’t really penetrate enough at times. Young Aidy (Connolly) should have scored when he went through and there were a couple of chances where we could have done better, even though their keeper made some good saves and somebody else needs to step up to the plate.

“Jon has scored 23 goals now, but we can’t just rely on him. There were crosses fizzing across the six-yard box and somebody has to tap them in.”

Parkin might even have had a second hat-trick in as many games, only for referee Dean Watson to pull play back and send off Jake Skelton on 69 minutes after the City striker had recovered from being fouled just outside the box and shot past away keeper Ross Durrant.

On the official’s performance, Penney said: “Some of the referee’s decisions left a bit to be desired. I thought their player could have been sent off in the first minute and he could have also delayed the decision to whistle instead of denying Jon a hat-trick.”

As at Ferriby, full-backs David Ferguson and Josh Law both laid on assists for Parkin in the return fixture and Penney revealed there has been a change in tact, regarding their attacking raids.

“We’ve been encouraging both Josh and David to get to the byline more, as we have been crossing from too deep, which favours defences,” the former Doncaster chief explained. “But they’ve both pulled balls back in the two games against Ferriby and we’ve got goals from them.”

The team also celebrated their first shut-out since a 2-0 triumph against Stockport on September 9 with Penney admitting: “It was great for the whole team to get a clean sheet, because we’ve been desperate to get one and should have done on Boxing Day, because the only chances they had in that game came from our mistakes and we’ve got to cut that out.”

Penney stood in for press duties instead of manager Martin Gray, ahead of Saturday’s trip to his old club Darlington, with many in the north-east still upset by the manner of his switch to North Yorkshire.

“We decided it was for the best as anything he said would be misconstrued by the people there,” Penney stressed.