York City midfielder Andre Boucaud is being challenged to carry his pre-season form into the new Blue Square Bet Premier campaign.
The former Trinidad and Tobago international was a worthy man-of-the-match winner in Wednesday night’s 2-1 home defeat against Premier League Sunderland, delivering a midfield masterclass after being pitted against the likes of £6 million summer signing Craig Gardner, former Manchester United player Kieran Richardson and ex-England Under-21 international Lee Cattermole.
Now, Mills is expecting Boucaud’s superior fitness levels mean he will play a more prominent role for the Minstermen than he has done since his arrival from Kettering last November.
The former QPR trainee only started ten league matches in 2010/11 but, ahead of tomorrow’s pre-season friendly at Quorn, Mills said: “I thought Andre was outstanding against Sunderland the other night. I know what he’s capable of and nobody knows better than himself what he’s capable of.
“Everybody saw what he was capable of against Sunderland and, if anything, he was guilty of being over confident at times because he was playing that well. He’s 26 but what a player.
“He’s got to perform like that week in, week out now because that’s why I brought him here.”
Added Mills: “His fitness is better than it was last season and that’s why he did not play as much as he should have done. He knows what I expect from him and, if he gives it me, I won’t complain.”
Mills also insisted that the strong starting XI he fielded against the Black Cats held no indications as to his preferred line-up for the beginning of the new campaign.
Last season’s The Press Player of the Year Daniel Parslow and striker Jamie Reed were among the notable substitutes and Mills said: “Everybody in the squad has a chance of starting at Ebbsfleet on August 13.
“Nobody should read anything into who started against Sunderland and who did not.”