Michael Boulding has been praised for his decision to take a hefty pay cut this season.

The City striker was one of the high earners targeted when the club announced the wage bill was going to be slashed.

Graeme Lee and Paul McLaren both moved on but Boulding was so keen to stay put that he offered to take a drop in his income – which he has now done.

Boss Stuart McCall has been delighted with the hitman’s attitude towards the cost-cutting approach.

He said: “Micky took a sizeable cut, which he didn’t need to do. It’s a terrific gesture and just shows how much he wants to be here.

“Micky rang me the week before we came back training and explained how much he wanted to stay.

“He knew the situation with the club needing to get some of the big earners off the wage bill and was happy to come in and sort something out.

“Lots of clubs had rung him up in the summer but he feels as though he’s got a point to prove here. He feels he can do better next season, as we all can.”

Boulding scored 13 goals in his first year at Valley Parade, four behind Peter Thorne. But he admitted himself his performance was “very average”.

He has come back to pre-season looking sharp and hungry and McCall is confident the striker will take that form into the new campaign.

“Micky did all right last season in fits and starts but we know we can do more for him in certain areas and vice versa.

“I’m really pleased to have him, Thorney and Evo (Gareth Evans) up front.

“We’re all disappointed with how it finished last season. But that’s gone and you can see from his mental approach how Boulders is really focused on wanting to do well.”

Joint-chairman Julian Rhodes said: “Michael has agreed to have his wage reduced by a considerable amount. Couple that with the attitude he has shown from the word go and he’s been terrific.”