ON-LOAN Bristol Rovers defender Jonny Burn will be thrown straight in for his full York City debut at Boston United on Saturday.

Barring a defensive reshuffle, the Darlington-born, 22-year-old is set to be preferred to either Dan Parslow or Hamza Bencherif.

Parslow and Sean Newton are the only ever-present players for the Minstermen this season and have played every minute of the campaign.

Suspension and injury means Bencherif has also only missed two matches in 2017/18, but City chief Martin Gray has decided on changes to his back four following a run of 12 games without a clean sheet.

“He’ll start the game and will be more than ready for it,” Gray said of the ex-Middlesbrough reserve, who has played four times for his parent club this term. “He’ll be replacing somebody, because I’ve never been one to play a back three – I prefer a four-man defence.

“I brought him in because I felt like we needed some back-up and strength in terms of a third-choice defender and we’ve got that now. He’s been with us since Tuesday, which has given us plenty of time to get him settled in.”

Burn’s arrival has also prompted the departure of centre-back Jassem Sukar, who leaves after only eight outings following his summer move from Arbroath.

“We felt he (Sukar) wasn’t effecting the squad enough, so we’ve come to an agreement over his contract, which was up in the new year,” Gray explained.

Former Tranmere and Bristol Rovers winger Adam Dawson, meanwhile, will not be offered a deal at Bootham Crescent after scoring as a trialist in City’s 2-1 reserve defeat at Rotherham this week, with Gray adding: “He came in and we wanted to have a look at him, but he won’t be with us going forward.”

Ahead of his team’s visit to second-bottom Boston, Gray went on to warn City’s players against the enthusiasm of youth that the hosts are heavily reliant upon.

“They’ve got Adam Curry in on loan from Hull, who is a north-east boy I tried to sign at Darlington,” Gray pointed out. “He’s now finding his way in the senior game and they’ve got another player in from Notts County.

“They’re a young side and, with that, will come a lot of endeavour. There are no easy games, but we’ve got to capitalise on our strengths and be defensively strong.

“You’ve got to earn the right to win at any level and we’re going there in form, so we’ve got to make sure we stay in good form, because the minimum requirement is three points.”

Gray also revealed that he has been picking the brains of Sam Muggleton for inside information following his recent loan spell with the Lincolnshire side.

“I’ve used his knowledge and he’s told me what they’re all about,” the City boss added.

Gray will be pondering whether to recall Aidan Connolly to the starting XI at York Street after he dropped to the bench for last weekend’s 3-1 FA Trophy triumph over Coalville.

The ex-Sunderland midfielder stressed, though, that he wants the skilful, 22-year-old Scotsman to continue working on his game without the ball.

“I think he’s had a new lease of life since being back involved with the first team,” Gray declared. “You want to see improvements in players’ games all the time and I think we’re gradually seeing them with Aidan.

“You always find there’s a down side to game-changing players and, like everyone, because of the way I play, he knows he has to get better out of possession, but he has a great attitude and wants to be part of the club.”

Connor Smith could be on substitute duty at Boston after returning from a loan spell at Evo-Stik Northern League outfit Whitby Town, but Gray would sanction another move away from the club, saying: “I’ve no complaints about putting him on the bench, but he needs games as well, so we’re still looking to get him that.”

On the prospect, meanwhile, of meeting Kidderminster, who defeated Boston in Tuesday night’s replay, in the first round of the FA Trophy on Saturday, December 16, Gray admitted: “It will be a tough game.

“We’ve seen how good they are when we drew 1-1 with them and we’re going to their place, which they will feel is a slight advantage. We’re looking forward to it, but the most important game now is the next one at Boston.”