OXFORD United’s Chris Carruthers has joined York City on loan to provide competition for left-sided pair James Meredith and Andy Ferrell.

Centre-back Alan O’Hare, meanwhile, is expected to sign the same one-month terms for Gainsborough Trinity having yet to make a senior appearance with the Minstermen following his summer switch from Mansfield.

Despite City being in the midst of an eight-match unbeaten run, assistant manager Andy Porter believes the time was right to add a new body to the squad. He said: “We felt we just needed a fresh face to keep pushing on and we might look to bring somebody else in as well. A lot of people think you only need to bring players in when you’re not doing well but we’re of the opinion that if you fetch people in while the results are good, it keeps players on their toes and he can challenge for both positions on the left.”

Carruthers, 26, had made just one appearance for Oxford this season – the 4-3 victory at Histon – before he was allowed to join Crawley, where his one-month loan stay expired on Saturday.

He played six times for Crawley, including the Red Devils’ 2-0 defeat at Bootham Crescent, and also scored against Histon.

Kettering-born Carruthers was previously a League One regular at Northampton and Bristol Rovers, having made his Cobblers debut at the age of 17 against Foyle’s former club Port Vale and also represented England Under-20s in 2003.

He arrived at Oxford last summer having been released by Bristol Rovers despite playing at Wembley in the Pirates’ League Two play-off final winning side a year earlier and has lost his place to Kevin Sandwith at the Kassam Stadium.

O’Hare is currently behind Daniel Parslow, Djoumin Sangare and David McGurk in the pecking order for defensive starting places and Porter added that four weeks with Blue Square North outfit Gainsborough should raise the Irishman’s fitness levels.

The City coach said: “He needs some match practice because, you never know, we might need him in a month’s time.

“Injury-wise, we’ve not done too badly so far but you never know what’s around the corner and we need to keep all the players fit and fresh so they can do their best when called upon.”