York City manager Martin Gray has spoken of his delight to have highly-rated Boro youngster Alex Pattison back on loan.
Pattison enjoyed a fruitful month-long spell at Bootham Cresent before returning to Boro last month.
The 20-year-old made a big impression for the National League side and was named the York Press Player of the Month for his performances in December.
York boss Martin Gray admits his side missed the energy of Pattison and is delighted to secure his services until the end of the season.
“On transfer deadline day, I think I spoke to his agent more than I spoke to my wife,” he said. “I’d also like to thank Middlesbrough and their academy manager Craig Liddle, because they have gone over and above what they needed to do to make this happen for us.
“We have a great relationship with them and they stood by their word that, if nobody came in for Alex before the transfer window closed, he would come back here. He gave us a great injection of energy when he was here before and he has the desire to change a game.
“Even though we picked up some good results after he went back to Middlesbrough, we’ve missed him. He came here with a carefree attitude and it was great to see somebody from the academy system who doesn’t let what’s happening in the stands concern him, because the bigger the occasion, the better he seems to become.
“He gets you up the pitch as a team and he has a good final ball in his game, whether that’s a pass or a cross. I’d now like to see him add goals to his game during the rest of the season.”
Pattison, who penned a new one-year contract with Boro the day before he secured a return to York, shares his manager’s delight – despite a move into League football falling through.
“I’ve been playing with the reserves at Middlesbrough and the new manager (Tony Pulis) has watched some of the game and I tried to do well,” Pattison said.
“I got a few 90 minutes in and, when a move to a League club did not happen, I was 100% delighted to come back here, because that’s what I always wanted. A few teams enquired about me but, in the end, they just wanted to go with somebody more experienced who knows the League.
“I’d not had any League experience before coming here and being here again and getting a run of games will do me the world of good.”
On his new contract, Pattison said: “I always back myself to do well, but the contract is a bonus, because I’ve got a one-year extension now, which feels good.
“I’m here untiI the end of the play-offs and I want to get York promoted and do the best I can for the team. We won three games on the bounce when I was here last time and that then turned into six without losing.”
You can keep up with the progress of Pattison and the rest of Boro’s loanees in our weekly Loan Watch.