MICHAEL Ingham will welcome competition for his place as York City boss Nigel Worthington looks to recruit another goalkeeper prior to Saturday’s trip to Northampton.
Former Northern Ireland international Ingham is currently the only senior shot-stopper on the Bootham Crescent books after loan pair Aaron McCarey and Nick Pope were recalled by Wolves and Charlton respectively.
Pope might be an option for Worthington again, however, with Ben Hamer having recovered from injury at the Valley and Ingham insists he does not mind contesting his position with whoever is brought in by the Minstermen.
He said: “I’ve got the jersey and gloves now.
“The gaffer will be bringing somebody in as competition but I am not the type who spits out his dummy and gets angry with stuff like that.
“I haven’t been in the gaffer’s office all season. He wants people who want to play and he wants healthy competition for the football team.
“At the end of the day, it’s not all about me – it’s about the club. But I am happy here and I don’t want to go anywhere.
“I am out of contract in the summer but that will take care of itself and I want to fight for my place.”
Ingham’s recent eight-game absence due to injury represented his longest lay-off during six seasons as City’s first choice goalkeeper.
He has now made 303 appearances for the Minstermen with only 1955 FA Cup semi-final legend Tommy Forgan having played more times in goal for the club and Ingham believes he has actually benefited from his enforced rest, saying: “It probably did me the world of good.
“I was a bit mentally tired and I have had problems off the field that built up so I probably needed a little break to refresh myself. Now I am settled with a girl from York and couldn’t be happier off the pitch.”
On the performances of Pope and McCarey prior to his recall against Morecambe on New Year’s Day, Ingham added: “I did not really get to work with or see Nick because the games he played in were away from home but the lads told me he was different class. Aaron didn’t do anything wrong either other than the little mistake at Bury.”
Ingham is also now hoping his hip and thigh problems are behind him after returning to action a little ahead of schedule.
“I was a bit surprised to play on New Year’s Day because I thought I was about another week away but you have to take your opportunity when it comes,” he added. “I am back in now and, hopefully, I can get a run in the team.
“The injury felt a little bit worse on Saturday than it did after the Morecambe game. It’s a little nerve problem in what is called the tailor’s muscle.
“I had never heard of it but it was stiffening up when I was kicking and I couldn’t kick a ball for seven or eight weeks. I know people start looking at your age, but my injury record speaks for itself.
“I don’t get injured much and I am hoping this is just a freak one that I am getting over now.”