THE RELEASE of Kaine Felix and Connor Smith’s loan move to Whitby Town could pave the way for another new addition at York City.

Bootham Crescent chief Martin Gray has signed a different player for each of his first three games at the helm with David Ferguson, Bailey Peacock-Farrell and James Gray arriving one after the other.

Felix and Smith, meanwhile, have followed Sam Muggleton out of the exit door after his loan switch to Boston United, with City manager Gray reasoning: “I’m very conscious we have got one or two people who need to get out on loan and play games and it might be a case of getting one out to bring another in.

“But anybody we bring in has got to be the same level or better that the starting XI, otherwise it’s a pointless exercise and no benefit to the club at all.”

Attacker Felix departs after scoring just once in 24 outings, having joined from Boston United in the summer of 2016.

Winger Smith is yet to make his full City debut, having been restricted to six substitute appearances under previous boss Gary Mills after leaving Hartlepool in the summer.

Gray insisted, though, that the door has not been closed on Smith’s Minstermen career and that he would keeping tabs on the Stockton-born 21-year-old’s progress at the Evo-Stik Northern League premier division outfit.

“He’s been to Whitby in the past and, as a young lad, he needs game time,” the ex-Darlington boss explained. “He has a great attitude, but needs something at the end of his working week.

“It’s a long season though and everybody in the squad is still in my plans, so he’ll need to have a good month at Whitby now.”

Having seen his side win, draw and lose since taking over from Mills, Gray went on to suggest that eighth-placed City must become “horrible” if they are to meet his challenge of fighting for the National League North title.

Ahead of Saturday’s home meeting with mid-table Tamworth, he added: “We can’t expect to have a God-given right to win games just because of our badge and former Football League status.

“Teams will come to Bootham Crescent and it’s their cup final. If they go away with a result, that’s great for them and job done.

“We’ll need the same energy that we had in our last home match against Brackley to give the crowd something to shout about. It seems a long time since that game and we want to put on a massive performance as a group and a city, because we’ve got to be a horrible, hard team to beat

“They are having a bit of a bad run and we have to capitalise on that in terms of how we start and finish the game.”

Following a second-half cameo in which he scored, claimed an assist and hit the post during last weekend’s 3-2 defeat at Salford, Aidan Connolly is being tipped for a recall to the starting XI, despite his recent calf trouble, with Gray pointing out: “Aidan Connolly has had a really good week on the training ground and comes into contention.”

Having conceded five goals from set-piece situations during the last two matches, City have also been put through their paces again at Wigginton Road ahead of Tamworth’s visit and Gray said: “We’ve done a lot of work and, hopefully, we’ll see the rewards in this game.

“It’s become a mentality we have to change and it’s all about what you do on the training ground.”