LEFT-BACK James Meredith can become a more regular marksman for York City according to manager Gary Mills despite taking 90 games to open his account for the club.

Meredith broke his duck by scoring City’s second goal in their last outing – an impressive 4-1 thrashing of table-topping Wimbledon.

He produced a quality finish in first-half stoppage time to send the Minstermen into the interval with a 2-0 lead and Mills believes the Australian defender, who arrived at Bootham Crescent in the summer of 2009, has the potential to net up to eight goals a season.

The City chief said: “I was surprised to learn that it was Mes’ first goal as he is an attacking full-back who likes to join in going forward. I don’t know whether he played a more restricted role for the club in the past but I like him to get down the wing.

“Your full-backs are never going to be prolific but, with the way we play, they can weigh in with six to eight goals. He’s had two or three really good chances in the penalty box since I’ve been here but unfortunately didn’t finish them off. He did against Wimbledon and I hope it’s the first of many.”

Such has been Mills’ confidence in Meredith’s attacking ability that he has played the Albury-born 22-year-old as a midfielder this season and in an attacking role alongside Michael Rankine.

“I don’t just see him as a defender,” Mills admitted.

“We started him in midfield at Southport and, although it only lasted a minute, I had put him in there with the intention of hoping he would go and get a goal for us. He enjoys scoring in training and is a good athlete with quick feet.” Midfielder Neil Barrett, meanwhile, is hoping to take part in this afternoon’s behind-closed-doors match against Leeds United at Bootham Crescent.

Barrett has been suffering from a kneecap problem but has returned to training and also become a dad following the birth of his baby son, George.

Despite having no game on Saturday, City’s chances of gatecrashing the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off places were enhanced by Wimbledon’s 1-0 win over fifth-placed Fleetwood.

City are seven points behind Town with three games in hand.