YORK City manager Martin Gray will make changes for Saturday’s home clash against Boston United.

The Minstermen chief has been disappointed to take just one point from a possible six after the 1-0 home victory over National League North leaders Salford and looks poised to recall Dan Parslow and Louis Almond to the starting line-up.

Both players were left out of the reserves’ North Riding Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out defeat to Middlesbrough on Tuesday night to preserve themselves for first-team action, although Jon Parkin will still be missing as he completes his three-match suspension.

On his selection intentions, Gray insisted: “There will be changes made. We’ve got players in the squad that have been patient and, when their opportunities come along, they have to take their chance.”

Gray has also suggested that 16-year-old left-winger Vinny Steels could play a part in the final run-in of the Minstermen’s campaign after catching the eye in his last two reserve outings.

“If you’re good enough, you’re old enough,” the City boss reasoned. “I’ve put kids in who are 16 and 17 and won championships and he has a great future ahead of him in my opinion.

“Age is just a number. Wayne Rooney was a great example of that and, if Vinny keeps performing as he has been doing, everyone is looking at him and thinking where’s this lad come from.

“He’s been in the building two or three weeks and looks very comfortable in the surroundings. The senior players have also been fantastic with him, because they can see his quality and trust him.

“He just needs to be managed right and I want him to excite people. I don’t want to change what’s got him here.

“We want to improve his game out of possession but, sometimes, there can be too much coaching in terms of keeping the ball and we want to encourage him to drive forward and be a nuisance to the opposition.”

Along with Steels, Gray added that Theo Wharton and Clovis Kamdjo pressed their claims for future first-team duty against Boro, adding that the latter will now be moved into midfield for the reserves after returning to action in defence following his long lay-off due to cruciate damage.

“All of a sudden, Theo Wharton has given himself a chance and, hopefully, the penny has dropped, because it needs to do for him to have a future – not just at York, but in football,” Gray pointed out. “It was the best performance I have seen from him and I’ve seen a difference in him during the last two weeks in training.

“He seems to have a bigger desire, but that has got to be there all the time, not just because we’ve got ten games to go. Clovis was a real positive too.

“He looked the best he has been since coming back. He got himself a goal and the timing of his heading was good, so he’s giving himself a chance, which is great, because I was really concerned for him six to eight weeks ago.

“But, now, his mobility and strength look like they’re coming back. We’ve tried to ease him in by playing him at the back but, in the next week or two, we want to move him back into areas where he needs to be quick, because there’s more movement around him.”

City lost the Cup tie when Raul Correia, Josh Law and Aaron Haswell all saw their spot kicks saved.

With Parkin hitting the bar from the first team’s last penalty and Almond also failing to net for the reserves, the last five chances from 12 yards have gone begging and Gray does not want to see his players’ focus waver again during the next two crucial months, “Having had two weeks without a game, minds have been recharged mentally, which is as important as being right physically,” the City chief explained. “We have failed to deliver since beating Salford and that is down to mentality.

“There’s probably only Harrogate that have been consistent through the season. Otherwise, you get crazy results at 4.45pm every Saturday and we don’t want to be involved in that any more with ten games left to play.

“It’s the same with penalties – they’re a mental test, because you have one chance to score and Jon Parkin is a great example of how to take them. He might have missed the last one, but he just hits them and, 90 per cent of the time, they hit the back of the net because they’ve got so much power.”

Gray went on to stress that City will need to right a wrong when Boston visit Bootham Crescent, having lost 2-1 following a below-par display in the away meeting between the two teams.

“We’ve got a definite point to prove, because we didn’t perform to our standards there and it was a very scruffy game,” he confessed. “They’ve picked up since then and were probably in a false position before, but they’ve got stronger and we will be very respectful of them.”

The former Darlington boss revealed, meanwhile, that Marcus Williams missed the Boro game due to a prior commitment, but Gray kept the explanation behind Daniel Rowe’s recent absence from the first-team and reserve picture confidential, stating: “That’s not something I can really comment on for personal club reasons, but we’re working on things at this moment in time.”