YORK City defender David McGurk changed his mind about his Bootham Crescent future due to the club’s transformation in fortunes under Gary Mills.

McGurk, pictured, handed in a transfer request shortly after Mills took over the managerial reins at City with Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Luton Town making a bid for the 28-year-old centre-back’s services.

The Minstermen were in the bottom six at the time and the possibility of a play-off push in 2010/11 looked remote.

But, with Mills overseeing a charge up the table into seventh place, McGurk explained that he has signed a new extended deal with the Minstermen because he believes the club can now match his ambitions of returning to the Football League – this season.

McGurk, who has committed his future to City until the summer of 2013, said: “My reasons for changing my mind are pretty obvious.

“When I handed the request in, we were 19th in the league and I had better ambitions in terms of getting into the Football League.

“I didn’t see us doing it and Luton are always up there so that’s why I wanted to talk to them. The gaffer told me from day one, when I handed the request in, that we could get in the play-offs.

“I couldn’t see it at the time because we were low on confidence and not playing well, but he has been proven right. We are nearly there and, even though there’s a lot of hard work still to be done, the whole club has a belief we can get there.”

McGurk first came to Luton’s attention during two masterful displays in last season’s 2-0 aggregate play-off semi-final victory over the Bedfordshire side.

With the Hatters looking odds-on for a top-five place, the possibility remains that the two clubs could lock horns again at the end of the current term and McGurk would relish that prospect despite Luton’s flattering interest in him.

He added: “If it went the same way as last season, I’d take that now.”

With exactly two-thirds of City’s remaining fixtures at Bootham Crescent, where Mills’ men have enjoyed six straight league wins, McGurk also believes that run-in should provide the side with a crucial advantage over their nearest rivals.

He said: “We’ve not conceded many goals at home and, while we could probably have scored a few more if you look at our record, we’ve still won the last six games at Bootham Crescent.

“The eight home games we have left could be a massive factor between now and the end of the season because, if we get maximum points in those matches, that would probably see us into the play-offs and we feel confident going into every game at home.

“I know we have got Luton and Crawley to come but we would fancy ourselves against them at home as well. First of all, our next two games are at home and, hopefully, we can pick up a minimum of four points while going all out for six.

“Eastbourne are struggling so, hopefully, we can put them to bed on Saturday and then look forward to a good game against Mansfield next Tuesday.”

McGurk revealed he has made a complete recovery from the nerve problem in his foot that saw him sidelined for two matches.

He returned to the bench for Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Barrow but was an unused substitute as Daniel Parslow and Chris Smith continued to impress in his absence.

About his battle to win back a place, McGurk added: “I’ve got no complaints at the moment. We’ve won two and drawn one of the last three matches and I can’t expect to just walk straight back in.

“I will wait for my chance and, when I get it, make sure I don’t come out of the team again.”

McGurk, who had played in two of City’s last four win-less trips to Holker Street, felt the point in Cumbria was a case of one gained than two lost, saying: “Barrow’s a hard place to go.

“I said before the match to Andre Boucaud when we were warming up that a point wouldn’t be bad because it was windy and the chances were it was going to be a scrappy game.

“It was a poor match but the lads ground out a clean sheet and a 0-0 draw, and we did not lose any ground on the teams above.”

Meanwhile, Jamal Fyfield has returned to City following a loan spell at Maidenhead, his former club.