OUT-OF-CONTRACT attacker Louis Almond wants to stay at York City next season.

The 26-year-old forward is expected to start his first match under Martin Gray against Boston this weekend after suffering a shoulder injury as a substitute against Tamworth in October.

He last kicked off a senior game during September’s 2-0 defeat at Harrogate, but wants to prove he is worth a new deal at Bootham Crescent during the final two months of the campaign, revealing that he has not exercised his right, under the Bosman ruling, to talk to other clubs since the turn of the year.

“I’d definitely like to stay,” Almond said of his City future. “This is a great place and a great club that shouldn’t be in this league.

“Hopefully, we can get promoted and, then, we’ll see what happens. I’ve not been aware of any interest in myself and I’ve just been dedicated to getting fit and back in the team.

“I wouldn’t have been bothered anyway about talking to anybody else, even if I’d been told I wouldn’t be getting anything here, because I just wanted to get back playing first.”

With City having switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation during his three-month absence, Almond also believes the system could bring out the best in him – either in the lone striker role or the central supporting forward position.

“I like playing up front and I’m not really a winger, so the system suits me a bit better,” the former Tranmere campaigner reasoned. “I’ve played up front or off the striker all my career, so that’s nothing new to me.”

If selected, Almond will be looking to impress sufficiently to ensure he does not make way for when suspended 25-goal top scorer Jon Parkin is eligible again for Tuesday’s trip to Kidderminster.

The one-time Championship performer was, though, part of the Parkin-less side that won 5-0 at Bradford Park Avenue earlier in the season when he teed up every goal, giving Almond genuine confidence that three points are achievable without the attacking talisman.

“Without Jon, we have to go a different way and are still capable of winning,” Almond declared. “He’s a big target man and we can play balls off him but, if it’s me and Alex Kempster up there, we can get the ball to feet a bit more or go down the channels.”

Thanks mainly to that extraordinary August afternoon in Bradford, Almond remains just one behind skipper Sean Newton in the club’s assists table this season but, with just two goals to his name, he is now looking to contribute more on the scoresheet too.

“I got lots of assists, but couldn’t find the net,” Almond admitted of his early-season form. “I’ll put that down to unselfish work!

“Hopefully, though, that can turn around and I can get more goals now, instead of assists.”

Despite seeing a penalty saved for the reserves last month, he will also be happy to volunteer his services for the first team if needed, which could be this weekend with Parkin unavailable.

“I changed my mind the last second for the reserves, which you should never do,” Almond confessed. “Normally, though, I’m alright with penalties.

“I scored eight last season and I did feel confident when I took it. Maybe, because it was a reserve game, I felt it didn’t really count and, if I get one for the first team, I know that it will do.”

Adding that he grew restless during his enforced lay-off, Almond is pleased, however, that there is still a significant chunk of the campaign left, having recovered sooner than anticipated.

“I had an operation on the shoulder before, but it came undone,” he explained. “I suffered a fracture in the back and there was a cyst too, so I’ve just been rebuilding it.

“It’s a frustrating injury because, even though it doesn’t affect your legs, you can’t come back too early, as it could come undone again. But there are still ten games left, which is a bonus because I thought I would only get the last four or five.

“It’s been a long time, but I’m getting there and the reserve games have been a massive help. Some of the matches have been against kids, but it’s the minutes that matter.”

Almond suggested that the team also need to set the record straight after December’s disappointing 2-1 defeat at Boston, but feels there is no extra onus on any individual fixture, as the team look to amass enough points to finish in the highest play-off place possible.

“We want revenge, but it’s no bigger a game than any other and we just want the points,” he argued.