DAVID McGURK might have to go out on loan to force his way back into the York City first team.

Manager Gary Mills is considering sending the Minstermen stalwart out for a month to play some games with a view to the 30-year-old returning to Bootham Crescent and exerting pressure to reclaim a centre-back berth.

McGurk continued his return from a series of injuries, including throat and knee complaints, with 90 minutes in the behind-closed-doors 3-1 victory over Newcastle United reserves on Wednesday and Mills said: “He’s had a couple of games and we have to see a bit more from David now.

“He’s getting a little bit fitter. We have got three centre-halves there at this moment and (it might be about) whether it is time for him to go out for a month and get a lot of football. It’s not just this season but last as well where he has missed an awful lot of football and you need to be playing regularly to get that fitness back so that might be an option for us. We will see.”

Mills continued: “I have said, not just individually but to a few of them as a group, that they need to get out and play some football. There’s no point in Dave McGurk sitting on my bench not playing when he has been out for so long.

“It’s certainly an option. He knows that option and we will make a decision whether it is going to be the case.

“It’s important that we send him out for the right reasons – to get that sharpness back, and the fitness, and when he comes back he’s capable of getting back into the side.”

While McGurk continues his return, however, midfielder John McReady will be out until Christmas after requiring an operation following the dislocated shoulder he suffered in York’s 0-0 draw with Cheltenham at Bootham Crescent.

“We may be looking at Christmas before he is back,” the City chief admitted. “That’s a blow because he was coming along quite nicely for us. We are going to be without him for a while now.”

Mills is confident a repeat of the opening 35 minutes of Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat against Fleetwood Town, where his side were much the superior without finding the target, will hold them in good stead against Rotherham at Bootham Crescent tomorrow but, despite his delight with the performance, he hasn’t ruled out making changes for the visit of the Millers.

“I thought for 35 minutes we were the best we’ve been,” he reflected. “I take a lot of positives from that. I couldn’t knock my players. If there is a criticism, maybe it’s that we just lost our shape in the second half because we were a goal down and looking to get the equaliser and maybe there’s a little lesson there.

“My players can go and start like they did on Tuesday night against Rotherham and I will have no qualms.

“Let’s go and do the same again. Coming in at half-time it was ‘How the hell are we 1-0 down?’ but we were and that’s football.

“We move on and we get ready for Saturday. I’m still smiling and I want my players to continue to play like that.

Mills added: “I think you always have to look at it (changes). We have won one game in five or six so you have to sometimes look at it and say, ‘Can we change it to try to win a game?’ “Sometimes it is difficult when players are doing well but sometimes you have to make changes and give someone else an opportunity – a different dimension for us. There’s certainly no crisis here. I am enjoying the trip so far after ten games.

“There’s a long way to go and three points against Rotherham would put us back up there.”