YORK City utility man Chris Carruthers would welcome a run in the team at left-back.

Carruthers, 27, has rarely played in what he believes to be his strongest position since arriving at the club from Oxford in September 2009.

Aussie defender James Meredith has been a virtual ever-present in the role during that time with Carruthers playing in front of him on the left side of midfield under Martin Foyle for the majority of last season.

The former England Under-20 international has also been used as a member of City’s three-pronged strikeforce during Gary Mills’ reign but has struggled to become a permanent fixture in the new manager’s team after his long lay-off due to hamstring problems.

Carruthers, however, was recalled at left-back for Saturday’s match at Luton and completed 56 minutes with Meredith playing in an advanced role on the flank before the match was snowed off.

About the possibility of continuing in City’s back four, Carruthers said: “I’ve played most of my career at left-back even if I haven’t done very often for York. It’s probably my best position but ‘Mes’ has been doing really well there and there’s good competition throughout the team.”

Should Mills revert back to Meredith as his first-choice left-back, though, Carruthers is hoping the fact he has more than one string to his bow will count in his favour as he attempts to regain a regular starting place.

The former Oxford defender added: “I enjoy playing at left-back but have played as part of the front three under the gaffer and could play in the midfield three as well. I’m quite versatile and feel I can fill any of those roles and am happy to play wherever I am selected.”

Prior to Saturday, Carruthers had only made the bench once in City’s last four matches and that was for the FA Cup second round tie at Darlington when Mills was free to name seven substitutes.

But, while other players like Duane Courtney and Michael Gash have fallen completely out of favour, Carruthers never felt his City future looked bleak, adding: “Football changes quickly.

“You just have to keep your head down and, when your chance comes, you have to take it. Being out of the team happens to everybody and you have to believe in your ability.

“It’s been a while though and it was nice to get back out there on Saturday.

“The team’s been doing well so it’s been difficult to get back in but I’m over my hamstring problem now and have been training every day keeping myself fit.”

Carruthers is also hoping to play a big part in City’s Christmas and New Year programme, regarding the period as a great time to close the gap between 14th-placed City and a play-off spot.

The Minstermen are currently eight points behind fifth-placed Fleetwood, who Mills’ side entertain on January 3 in the last of four matches in nine days following two clashes with Gateshead and a trip to bottom-of-the-table Altrincham.

“You want to win every game and if we get maximum points over the Christmas period that should close the gap to the play-offs and set us up nicely for the New Year,” Carruthers said.

Having endured a ten-hour coach journey back to Bootham Crescent from Luton, the Kettering-born player, above, is also hoping to avoid similar Arctic conditions on and off the pitch.

He added: “I was surprised we even started Saturday’s game. When we came out of the changing rooms, the side nearest to the main stand was really poor.

“It was really hard to stay on your feet even though the other side wasn’t too bad. We were doing well when the game was called off and you want to carry on but it was getting worse.

“The snow was getting heavier, we were struggling to see each other and the ball was sliding instead of rolling.”

Carruthers, who scored in the second leg of City’s play-off semi-final victory back at Kenilworth Road in May, also believed the visitors had the measure of their hosts on their return to Bedfordshire, saying: “I thought we looked the better team and had some good opportunities to nick a goal.

“The free-kick that hit the bar was their only chance. We played the conditions and passed the ball better than they did.”