YORK City’s winning start to 2014 will count for little unless it is used as a platform for more victories.
That was the message from City chief Nigel Worthington after his team enjoyed a second successive triumph since the start of the new year with Dagenham & Redbridge defeated 3-1 just three days after Morecambe were seen off 1-0 at Bootham Crescent.
Two goals from Wes Fletcher and one from Ryan Bowman lifted the Minstermen up to 17th place in the Sky Bet League Two standings and five points clear of the relegation zone.
But, with bottom-three clubs Northampton and Bristol Rovers the next two opponents for his team, Worthington is mindful that gap could soon be clawed back should anybody lose sight of the job in hand.
“The wins have made a big change as far as our league position is concerned but 17th place is neither here nor there really,” the City boss pointed out. “Twenty-eight points won’t get you anywhere or win you anything.
“Everybody needs to stay fully focused because there is plenty of work left to do to get where we want to be. We want to get past 50 or 51 points sooner rather than later and then kick on.
“We have won two games and must keep the momentum going but Saturday’s match is history now, as far as I am concerned. The players have had their plaudits and we are at Northampton next. They had a fantastic result at Newport, which is never an easy place to go.”
Worthington also added that his team rode their luck against the Daggers during a “lethargic” first half with all four of the game’s goals scored after the interval.
The Bootham Crescent boss said: “We created a couple of half-chances in the first half but they had a couple of pretty good chances that we got away with. At half-time, we told the players we needed to lift the tempo because we had lethargic legs and were plodding about a bit.
“We did raise our game by about 15 per cent and the goal re-energised us. We ended up with another two and the only blip in the end was the goal we conceded because it would have been nice to win 3-0.”
Strike partners Bowman and Fletcher both made space for themselves in the visitors’ penalty box for the hosts’ first and third goals.
In between, Fletcher saw what looked like an intended cross from the left sail over Dagenham ’keeper Chris Lewington’s head.
But Worthington believed all his team’s goals were the reward for a shoot-on-sight policy that saw the Minstermen manage ten on-target goal attempts compared to the visitors’ two.
He said: “Our goals were three very good striker finishes from in and around the box. If you get something off towards goal it’s always a bonus and Bowey did that to get the ball over the line for the first goal.
“Wes Fletcher also did what he does very well. He got two goals and could have had more.”
Former Burnley striker Fletcher has now netted ten times this term and Worthington believed his brace was fully-deserved following the industry he has shown during the club’s busy festive programme, saying: “He has put in real shifts during the last four games and his two goals were a reward for the work he has put in for the team during those matches.
“He knows where the goal is and is a very strong boy. When he has his back to goal with the ball at his feet, it is also a nightmare for defenders to work out which way he is going to go.”