NEAL Ardley has opened up on York City’s recruitment process and the struggles his side have faced, with permanent signings on the agenda for the Minstermen.

Ardley has faced challenges in recruiting for the left-back position, with five players identified, but all picking up injuries in what has been a frustrating process for the City boss.

York are hoping to bring in permanent signings who can remain at the club in the long-term, rather than loans, and have recently welcomed a new data analysis to help with the club’s recruitment.

“I’ve talked about trying to get a left-back in and it’s like a voodoo position to us,” Ardley laughed.

“The five players we had identified, and all five as we started opening up conversations, got injured.

“It’s a long process, but I know the fans rightly so will be looking at this and thinking what are we doing. We’ve got two forwards now with Marshy [Aiden Marsh] being recalled.

“We’ve got a new data analysis in for recruitment. I’m going to a recruitment meeting after this, and we are working so hard behind the scenes to get it right.

“The chairman and chairwoman have been brilliant. If we want to bring players in permanently and they are brilliant, then they are our players.

“It’s got to be players we want next season, not only to help us to stay up this season, but players that can take us to the play-offs next season and beyond.

“That’s not as easy with going for a young loan where if it’s not going as well, then you can just send him back in a month.

“If there’s a really good loan out there who we think massively improves the squad, massively improves the position we’re in, then that would be a nice and easy option.

“But the marketplace isn’t great for that, a lot of the players are gone and already on their loans.

“Sometimes you get first loans and it’s hard, they’re trying to learn on the job and we’re in a dogfight.

“You’ve got to try and get the balance right, but if you look at game-changers and look at the team in a few months, then signing permanent players is the best fit for now. The owners have been very supportive in that.”

Ardley also touched upon the profile of players he’s looking to bring in, as well as the positions he’s currently focusing on.

“We need a bit of everything, we need the balance of the squad, we need a physical squad as we need that in games.

“We need pace. I don’t think we’ve got enough pace in the team and not enough runners off the ball, which I’m working on in training.

“We’re looking in midfield, can we add more creativity, have more one-on-one domination in areas.

“Different types of wingers, all sorts, a left-back that’s more natural going forward.

“We’re looking at all sorts to get this team to play the way I want to play it.

“I’m not hamstrung but the system picks itself, because of the bodies that we have.

“We had one forward fit for a period of time, so it’s hard to play a 4-4-2 or a 3-5-2.”