ALEX Pattison has expressed his delight at returning to York City after interested Football League clubs decided against taking a punt on him due to his lack of experience.

The 20-year-old, on-loan Middlesbrough midfielder’s first taste of competitive senior action came during a five-match loan stint with the Minstermen that saw him scoop The Press Player of the Month award for December this term.

But teams outside of the non-League game were still reticent to give him a chance prior to the January transfer window closing.

Rather than sulking, though, Pattison is now champing at the bit to continue catching the eye as at first-team professional with City.

Describing the intervening period between returning to the Riverside after the Minstermen’s January 6 win at Darlington and his arrival back in North Yorkshire ahead of Saturday’s home clash with National League North table-toppers Salford, Pattison said: “I’ve been playing with the reserves at Middlesbrough and the new manager (Tony Pulis) has watched some of the game and I tried to do well.

“I got a few 90 minutes in and, when a move to a League club did not happen, I was 100 per cent delighted to come back here, because that’s what I always wanted. A few teams inquired about me but, in the end, they just wanted to go with somebody more experienced who knows the League.

“I’d not had any League experience before coming here and being here again and getting a run of games will do me the world of good.”

Pattison has impressed former Stoke and West Brom boss Pulis sufficiently to earn himself a new deal at Boro until the summer of 2019 and admitted that, with the knowledge of that security for next term, he can now fully focus on his playing responsibilities and ambitions with City, adding: “I always back myself to do well, but the contract is a bonus, because I’ve got a one-year extension now, which feels good.

“I’m here untiI the end of the play-offs and I want to get York promoted and do the best I can for the team. We won three games on the bounce when I was here last time and that then turned into six without losing.

“A couple of games haven’t gone as well since then but, hopefully, we can kick on from where I left off.”

Pattison shone in a 4-2-3-1 formation during that hat-trick of consecutive victories against North Ferriby (4-1, 2-0) and Darlington but, with Gray having hinted at a possible switch to 5-3-2, the energetic midfielder is no stranger to that system, having lined up in that fashion at St George’s Park as recently as Monday when Boro’s under-23s lost 3-2 to Stoke. “I’ll play where I get put by the gaffer and it’s all down to where he thinks I can play,” Pattison reasoned. “After going back to Middlesbrough, I’ve been playing in the centre of midfield.

“We played five at the back against Stoke on Monday night and I was on the right of a three in midfield, so I can play in that formation.”