Smith’s return welcome news for York boss Mills

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GARY MILLS is backing Jonathan Smith to slot neatly back into the York City side today after being recalled early from a loan spell.

The midfielder, signed from League Two champions Swindon Town last summer, was sent to Luton Town after falling out of favour at Bootham Crescent.

However, a disappointing run that has seen York win just once in nine league and cup outings prompted Mills to bring back Smith.

The York manager now plans to pair 26-year-old Smith with Scott Kerr in midfield against struggling Bristol Rovers.

Mills said: “We are pleased to have him back. We have lost a couple of players to injury so it is nice to make the squad that little bit bigger and stronger.

“He has been to Luton and had quite a few games. Now, I am hoping he will step up to the mark.”

How Kerr and Smith link up could have a major factor on today’s game with the pair having impressed in the latter’s first spell with York.

This season, however, a combination of Kerr’s injury and Smith being shipped out on loan means their time together on the field amounts to just a few minutes in cameo appearances from the bench.

For the second consecutive week, York will take on a team desperately low on confidence.

Rovers sit second bottom of League Two and have lost their last five league games on the road and won only one of their last 19.

Only one team, Barnet, have collected fewer points than Rovers’ six away from home but Mills will be well aware that Plymouth went into last week’s game with York similarly out of form, but still emerged with a 2-0 win.