York City boss Nigel Worthington plays down play-off chances

York City players celebrate Josh Carson's goal in the 2-0 win over Wycombe

York City players celebrate Josh Carson's goal in the 2-0 win over Wycombe

First published in Sport
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York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

NIGEL Worthington continued to talk down York City’s promotion hopes despite his team now only lying outside the Sky Bet League Two play-off zone due to goal difference.

The Minstermen drew level on points with seventh-placed Southend following a Ryan Bowman penalty and Josh Carson’s fifth goal of the season during an impressive 2-0 home win over Wycombe.

It was a result that represented City’s fourth straight victory, extended the side’s unbeaten run to an eighth game and moved the club beyond the 51-point mark Worthington set to secure Football League status for another season.

But he did not propose any further specific targets following Saturday’s triumph, simply saying: “We have got to keep doing what we are doing and not get carried away or distracted by anything someone might say or write.

“We’ve got all to play for and the lads have been tremendous, so we’ve just got to gain as many points as possible from the game we have left. We’ve got 27 to play for and, if we keep the solidity we have in the team, there is a chance we can pick up a fair number of them.”

Bowman and Carson both netted in a first half described as the best the City boss has witnessed from his players.

“The first 45 minutes was probably as good as I have seen from us,” Worthington enthused. “The movement, energy and invention in the team was fantastic.

“Ryan slotted another penalty away nicely and Josh’s goal took the pressure off our forwards and we have got to continue doing that. You know, at some stage over the course of 90 minutes, the opposition will try and halt you and we had a stiff breeze in our faces during the second half but we kept a clean sheet and stayed in control for a big three points.”

Worthington added that Carson’s goal was the reward for his willingness to try his luck from distance.

The ex-Ipswich winger’s 25-yard drive deceived Wycombe keeper Matt Ingram when it bounced off the Bootham Crescent turf and the City manager joked: “Josh hit a volley that was more Van Morrison than Van Basten in the first half, but it’s important to pull the trigger because, if you don’t, you won’t score.

“You’ve got to have a go and also be prepared to follow in as well because the goal areas will be bobbly during the next seven or eight weeks. There will be bits and pieces floating about for you if you are bright and Josh is a great character who is full of energy.

“The spirit in our group is good and it’s important that we keep that.”

Centre-back Keith Lowe, meanwhile, was denied his first goal for the clib when an 11th-minute header was controversially ruled out by referee Steven Rushton.

On that incident, Worthington said: “It was disallowed because of Michael Coulson being around their keeper apparently but I couldn’t see a problem. It was a fantastic set-piece from Will Hayhurst.

“He whipped it in with pace and Keith met it well with his head. I am just disappointed for him and us that it didn’t count because it was a fantastic goal.”

But the ex-Northern Ireland boss also felt his side were guilty of passing up several opportunities to add to their first-half lead, explaining: “We did not have enough bodies piling in on top of their keeper from crosses into the box so, while there are plenty of good things at the moment, there are still little bits we can improve on. We are by no means the finished article and there is a lot of work to be done, so we will carry on working on that.”

The team’s profligacy meant an excellent far-post interception by Ben Davies seconds before Carson’s second goal proved a pivotal moment, highlighting the teenage left back’s growing maturity, according to Worthington.

“For me, Ben came here as a young lad and he will be finishing the season a man,” the Minstermen chief claimed. “He has grown in stature and he wants to learn.

“He takes information on board and it was a good piece of defending prior to our second goal. He was where a full back should be and made sure the ball didn’t go in the net.

“That’s credit to him because he’s working hard at his game to improve.”

Attention has now switched to Saturday’s visit to fallen giants Portsmouth and Worthington is hoping his players will relish the chance to play in front of a big crowd at the club’s famous Fratton Park home.

He said: “There will be around 16,000 fans in the stadium next week and the game of football is all about big players stepping into big arenas and enjoying the occasion.”

Comments (20)

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5:21pm Sun 16 Mar 14

ian923 says...

I agree with NW and mentioned this in the match report comment. Young Ben has made considerable progress while here on loan which can only benefit us in the short term and Ben in the long term. He has played in and witnessed the change in our team since the January signing which have transformed the side. Good luck to him!
I agree with NW and mentioned this in the match report comment. Young Ben has made considerable progress while here on loan which can only benefit us in the short term and Ben in the long term. He has played in and witnessed the change in our team since the January signing which have transformed the side. Good luck to him! ian923
  • Score: 9

5:58pm Sun 16 Mar 14

T.R.M1974 says...

Like the way NW is playing it cool, also our full backs look a lot more confident with quality center halfs along side them and Popey got 90 mins of great catching practise in yesterday. Penn and Reed both had good physical battles, wingers played well as did Bowman, Coulo had another cracker but i would be trying to give Wes a full at Pompey, when he came on yesterday he looked class cant have him bench warming much longer
Like the way NW is playing it cool, also our full backs look a lot more confident with quality center halfs along side them and Popey got 90 mins of great catching practise in yesterday. Penn and Reed both had good physical battles, wingers played well as did Bowman, Coulo had another cracker but i would be trying to give Wes a full at Pompey, when he came on yesterday he looked class cant have him bench warming much longer T.R.M1974
  • Score: 8

8:16pm Sun 16 Mar 14

bill bailey says...

Lets play tribute to the ground staff also, they always present the players with a first rate pitch to play on probably the best in the league, everything at the club is buzzing ,the Board and Management have accumulated a strong squad
in depth ,any player sitting on the bench when called upon will slot in and play their part. There is a great feeling around BC now and its overflowing into the youths of the club, Oh I nearly forgot the negativity has gone from the comments on here that's got to be a massive plus.
Lets play tribute to the ground staff also, they always present the players with a first rate pitch to play on probably the best in the league, everything at the club is buzzing ,the Board and Management have accumulated a strong squad in depth ,any player sitting on the bench when called upon will slot in and play their part. There is a great feeling around BC now and its overflowing into the youths of the club, Oh I nearly forgot the negativity has gone from the comments on here that's got to be a massive plus. bill bailey
  • Score: 12

8:51pm Sun 16 Mar 14

baldy_baldy says...

Worthington out, sack the board.
Worthington out, sack the board. baldy_baldy
  • Score: 2

10:02pm Sun 16 Mar 14

You're Fired says...

Wes won't be 100% for Pompey. Not doing bad without him anyway!
Wes won't be 100% for Pompey. Not doing bad without him anyway! You're Fired
  • Score: -1

10:11pm Sun 16 Mar 14

TheBurton says...

It's good NW is keeping a level head when it comes to pushing up the table.
First target on New Year's Day, win a couple of games so we weren't down in a relegation battle to the last day like last season: Succeeded.
Second Target: Get to the +50 point target so relegation looks unlikely: Succeeded.
Third Target: Keep winning games and see where we end up: ?
We are almost safe this season points wise but with the position in the league we are in it's quite natural to be slightly greedy with hopes of the playoffs. I mean being on the same points as Southend only to be kept out on goal difference means we can definitley hope, especially with our momentum and the players seem to have that nailed down with Southend not doing too brilliantly as of late. I'd definitley consolidate in this league again but being so close with 9 games left, it certainly wouldnt hurt.
It's good NW is keeping a level head when it comes to pushing up the table. First target on New Year's Day, win a couple of games so we weren't down in a relegation battle to the last day like last season: Succeeded. Second Target: Get to the +50 point target so relegation looks unlikely: Succeeded. Third Target: Keep winning games and see where we end up: ? We are almost safe this season points wise but with the position in the league we are in it's quite natural to be slightly greedy with hopes of the playoffs. I mean being on the same points as Southend only to be kept out on goal difference means we can definitley hope, especially with our momentum and the players seem to have that nailed down with Southend not doing too brilliantly as of late. I'd definitley consolidate in this league again but being so close with 9 games left, it certainly wouldnt hurt. TheBurton
  • Score: 1

9:12am Mon 17 Mar 14

FortessBC says...

TheBurton wrote:
It's good NW is keeping a level head when it comes to pushing up the table.
First target on New Year's Day, win a couple of games so we weren't down in a relegation battle to the last day like last season: Succeeded.
Second Target: Get to the +50 point target so relegation looks unlikely: Succeeded.
Third Target: Keep winning games and see where we end up: ?
We are almost safe this season points wise but with the position in the league we are in it's quite natural to be slightly greedy with hopes of the playoffs. I mean being on the same points as Southend only to be kept out on goal difference means we can definitley hope, especially with our momentum and the players seem to have that nailed down with Southend not doing too brilliantly as of late. I'd definitley consolidate in this league again but being so close with 9 games left, it certainly wouldnt hurt.
I agree with your comments and we do have momentum. Oxford are bottom of the form table and Southend 20th! I believe that these 2 teams can be caught by us, Plymouth or Hartlepool. Wouldn't it be great if we are involved in a race for a play-off place over the remaining games instead of the expected (?) battle to avoid the drop which 2 months ago most folk thought would be the case. COYR
[quote][p][bold]TheBurton[/bold] wrote: It's good NW is keeping a level head when it comes to pushing up the table. First target on New Year's Day, win a couple of games so we weren't down in a relegation battle to the last day like last season: Succeeded. Second Target: Get to the +50 point target so relegation looks unlikely: Succeeded. Third Target: Keep winning games and see where we end up: ? We are almost safe this season points wise but with the position in the league we are in it's quite natural to be slightly greedy with hopes of the playoffs. I mean being on the same points as Southend only to be kept out on goal difference means we can definitley hope, especially with our momentum and the players seem to have that nailed down with Southend not doing too brilliantly as of late. I'd definitley consolidate in this league again but being so close with 9 games left, it certainly wouldnt hurt.[/p][/quote]I agree with your comments and we do have momentum. Oxford are bottom of the form table and Southend 20th! I believe that these 2 teams can be caught by us, Plymouth or Hartlepool. Wouldn't it be great if we are involved in a race for a play-off place over the remaining games instead of the expected (?) battle to avoid the drop which 2 months ago most folk thought would be the case. COYR FortessBC
  • Score: 5

11:56am Mon 17 Mar 14

lifelong says...

There's one stark fact about supporting York City......you are involved almost to the end of every season in either a promotion or relegation battle! What a pleasant change to be now looking upwards and not the reverse. But when are the supporters going to flock back to Bootham Crescent in the numbers recent form warrants. If claims for a bigger ground are going to be justified then the turnstiles need to be reflecting the efforts on the field!
If this winning mentality can hold together for the next few weeks then another Wembley trip beckons. This team can do it!!!
There's one stark fact about supporting York City......you are involved almost to the end of every season in either a promotion or relegation battle! What a pleasant change to be now looking upwards and not the reverse. But when are the supporters going to flock back to Bootham Crescent in the numbers recent form warrants. If claims for a bigger ground are going to be justified then the turnstiles need to be reflecting the efforts on the field! If this winning mentality can hold together for the next few weeks then another Wembley trip beckons. This team can do it!!! lifelong
  • Score: 11

12:26pm Mon 17 Mar 14

You're Fired says...

You're Fired wrote:
Wes won't be 100% for Pompey. Not doing bad without him anyway!
Not sure what is to dislike here, it's a fact that Fletcher won't be 100% fit for Portsmouth. It's also true that we've been doing ok without him. Sure he'll improve the team when he's back but there's no point in rushing someone back.
[quote][p][bold]You're Fired[/bold] wrote: Wes won't be 100% for Pompey. Not doing bad without him anyway![/p][/quote]Not sure what is to dislike here, it's a fact that Fletcher won't be 100% fit for Portsmouth. It's also true that we've been doing ok without him. Sure he'll improve the team when he's back but there's no point in rushing someone back. You're Fired
  • Score: 4

2:21pm Mon 17 Mar 14

bill bailey says...

NW is a wiley guy. some of us would be going down the promotion road but not him he knows over confidence can hit where it hurts , But I wouldn't bet against there being is a contingency plan in place in his and the Chairman's office , they realise relegation is no longer an issue , and players themselves feel something special is going on with this team they are not going to be pushed around by any team for the rest of the season,
NW is a wiley guy. some of us would be going down the promotion road but not him he knows over confidence can hit where it hurts , But I wouldn't bet against there being is a contingency plan in place in his and the Chairman's office , they realise relegation is no longer an issue , and players themselves feel something special is going on with this team they are not going to be pushed around by any team for the rest of the season, bill bailey
  • Score: -4

3:35pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Edsoni says...

It only seems 5 minutes ago when I was claiming that Coulson should be played on the wing. I didn't think that he had the presence, skill or strength to play central attacker. Wrong , wrong , wrong.
His first half display on Saturday was as good as I've seen for many a month with good movement and invention and a lack of selfishness that should have lead to more goals for his team mates.
Although silently I agreed with his assessment of our centre-backs. (I didn't want to criticise /undermine incumbents) Duffy's comments have been well proven - strong core is paramount.
Now that we have central defenders who can make clearing headers that count , we look much more solid. Both read the game well ; as does Penn who is looking sharper game by game - we now have quick feet in the middle of the park.
But boy, don't we look a different proposition when we play football rather than hoofball? Confidence is a wonderful asset; as is momentum.
(not to mention rub of the green - that's twice the post has come to our aid in the last two matches.)
Am I complaining? - nope!
From the dark days leading to December 's end, and January's local rivalry matches; to the sunny Spring uplands , the season is taking a more than welcome turn.
It only seems 5 minutes ago when I was claiming that Coulson should be played on the wing. I didn't think that he had the presence, skill or strength to play central attacker. Wrong , wrong , wrong. His first half display on Saturday was as good as I've seen for many a month with good movement and invention and a lack of selfishness that should have lead to more goals for his team mates. Although silently I agreed with his assessment of our centre-backs. (I didn't want to criticise /undermine incumbents) Duffy's comments have been well proven - strong core is paramount. Now that we have central defenders who can make clearing headers that count , we look much more solid. Both read the game well ; as does Penn who is looking sharper game by game - we now have quick feet in the middle of the park. But boy, don't we look a different proposition when we play football rather than hoofball? Confidence is a wonderful asset; as is momentum. (not to mention rub of the green - that's twice the post has come to our aid in the last two matches.) Am I complaining? - nope! From the dark days leading to December 's end, and January's local rivalry matches; to the sunny Spring uplands , the season is taking a more than welcome turn. Edsoni
  • Score: 10

3:37pm Mon 17 Mar 14

PositiveFootball says...

Fletcher can't be far away judging by the incredible turn of pace he showed on a couple of occasions when he came on. Must be hard for NW to tinker with a winning formulae.
Fletcher can't be far away judging by the incredible turn of pace he showed on a couple of occasions when he came on. Must be hard for NW to tinker with a winning formulae. PositiveFootball
  • Score: 2

4:00pm Mon 17 Mar 14

dbrs88 says...

lifelong wrote:
There's one stark fact about supporting York City......you are involved almost to the end of every season in either a promotion or relegation battle! What a pleasant change to be now looking upwards and not the reverse. But when are the supporters going to flock back to Bootham Crescent in the numbers recent form warrants. If claims for a bigger ground are going to be justified then the turnstiles need to be reflecting the efforts on the field!
If this winning mentality can hold together for the next few weeks then another Wembley trip beckons. This team can do it!!!
The club need to jump on the fact we are winning games and offer discounted tickets to get people along and hopefully some may even become regulars. Kids for a £1?
[quote][p][bold]lifelong[/bold] wrote: There's one stark fact about supporting York City......you are involved almost to the end of every season in either a promotion or relegation battle! What a pleasant change to be now looking upwards and not the reverse. But when are the supporters going to flock back to Bootham Crescent in the numbers recent form warrants. If claims for a bigger ground are going to be justified then the turnstiles need to be reflecting the efforts on the field! If this winning mentality can hold together for the next few weeks then another Wembley trip beckons. This team can do it!!![/p][/quote]The club need to jump on the fact we are winning games and offer discounted tickets to get people along and hopefully some may even become regulars. Kids for a £1? dbrs88
  • Score: 19

4:54pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Phil, Leeds says...

It's great to have a settled side and the results show what can happen when you have that continuity. However, Fletcher and Jarvis are the 2 best strikers at the club and we can't expect them to keep warming the bench, especially as they would have been those players "piling in on crosses in front of their keeper" as Nigel mentioned. The defence is now sorted but one of Jarvis and Fletcher, now fit again, in for Bowman would make us more potent.
It's great to have a settled side and the results show what can happen when you have that continuity. However, Fletcher and Jarvis are the 2 best strikers at the club and we can't expect them to keep warming the bench, especially as they would have been those players "piling in on crosses in front of their keeper" as Nigel mentioned. The defence is now sorted but one of Jarvis and Fletcher, now fit again, in for Bowman would make us more potent. Phil, Leeds
  • Score: -3

5:19pm Mon 17 Mar 14

pip007 says...

Coulson is the Luis Suarez of League Two. Brilliant little player. Hope we can hang on to him.
Coulson is the Luis Suarez of League Two. Brilliant little player. Hope we can hang on to him. pip007
  • Score: 6

6:21pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Peppa07 says...

I don't know about comparisons with Suarez but yes, Coulson is superb. He's come back from a horrendous injury and plays with tremendous courage and skill. Whatever happens to selection of forward positions it should be around him.
There's every chance of the playoffs, Pope, Lowe, McCombe, and Penn have given the team a huge boost - all 9 remaining games are winnable. No need to be afraid of anyone! I'd guess 19 points from the 27, as realistically not all games will go in our favour.
I don't know about comparisons with Suarez but yes, Coulson is superb. He's come back from a horrendous injury and plays with tremendous courage and skill. Whatever happens to selection of forward positions it should be around him. There's every chance of the playoffs, Pope, Lowe, McCombe, and Penn have given the team a huge boost - all 9 remaining games are winnable. No need to be afraid of anyone! I'd guess 19 points from the 27, as realistically not all games will go in our favour. Peppa07
  • Score: 3

8:09pm Mon 17 Mar 14

dazthecat says...

Phil, Leeds wrote:
It's great to have a settled side and the results show what can happen when you have that continuity. However, Fletcher and Jarvis are the 2 best strikers at the club and we can't expect them to keep warming the bench, especially as they would have been those players "piling in on crosses in front of their keeper" as Nigel mentioned. The defence is now sorted but one of Jarvis and Fletcher, now fit again, in for Bowman would make us more potent.
I think Bowman's physical presence means he'll keep his place. I'm convinced goals from open play are going to start coming for him too. Coulson is keeping the others out for me, his first half display on Saturday was as good as I can remember for a long time, his movement and link up play opens the game up for others. I worried for him a couple of months ago but he's been sensational recently. Great to have 4 strikers that are a genuine threat at the club.
[quote][p][bold]Phil, Leeds[/bold] wrote: It's great to have a settled side and the results show what can happen when you have that continuity. However, Fletcher and Jarvis are the 2 best strikers at the club and we can't expect them to keep warming the bench, especially as they would have been those players "piling in on crosses in front of their keeper" as Nigel mentioned. The defence is now sorted but one of Jarvis and Fletcher, now fit again, in for Bowman would make us more potent.[/p][/quote]I think Bowman's physical presence means he'll keep his place. I'm convinced goals from open play are going to start coming for him too. Coulson is keeping the others out for me, his first half display on Saturday was as good as I can remember for a long time, his movement and link up play opens the game up for others. I worried for him a couple of months ago but he's been sensational recently. Great to have 4 strikers that are a genuine threat at the club. dazthecat
  • Score: 8

8:56pm Mon 17 Mar 14

duffy says...

dazthecat wrote:
Phil, Leeds wrote:
It's great to have a settled side and the results show what can happen when you have that continuity. However, Fletcher and Jarvis are the 2 best strikers at the club and we can't expect them to keep warming the bench, especially as they would have been those players "piling in on crosses in front of their keeper" as Nigel mentioned. The defence is now sorted but one of Jarvis and Fletcher, now fit again, in for Bowman would make us more potent.
I think Bowman's physical presence means he'll keep his place. I'm convinced goals from open play are going to start coming for him too. Coulson is keeping the others out for me, his first half display on Saturday was as good as I can remember for a long time, his movement and link up play opens the game up for others. I worried for him a couple of months ago but he's been sensational recently. Great to have 4 strikers that are a genuine threat at the club.
Difficult one, Coulson has been our stand out player the last few games and deserves to keep his place. So if and when Fletcher is fully fit who drops out to make way for our best striker. Some would argue you stick with a winning team and that certainly has merit but Fletcher has to come back in for me when ready.
So move Coulson back onto the wing and drop a winger or drop Bowman fir Fletcher.
[quote][p][bold]dazthecat[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Phil, Leeds[/bold] wrote: It's great to have a settled side and the results show what can happen when you have that continuity. However, Fletcher and Jarvis are the 2 best strikers at the club and we can't expect them to keep warming the bench, especially as they would have been those players "piling in on crosses in front of their keeper" as Nigel mentioned. The defence is now sorted but one of Jarvis and Fletcher, now fit again, in for Bowman would make us more potent.[/p][/quote]I think Bowman's physical presence means he'll keep his place. I'm convinced goals from open play are going to start coming for him too. Coulson is keeping the others out for me, his first half display on Saturday was as good as I can remember for a long time, his movement and link up play opens the game up for others. I worried for him a couple of months ago but he's been sensational recently. Great to have 4 strikers that are a genuine threat at the club.[/p][/quote]Difficult one, Coulson has been our stand out player the last few games and deserves to keep his place. So if and when Fletcher is fully fit who drops out to make way for our best striker. Some would argue you stick with a winning team and that certainly has merit but Fletcher has to come back in for me when ready. So move Coulson back onto the wing and drop a winger or drop Bowman fir Fletcher. duffy
  • Score: -1

9:22am Tue 18 Mar 14

You're Fired says...

PositiveFootball wrote:
Fletcher can't be far away judging by the incredible turn of pace he showed on a couple of occasions when he came on. Must be hard for NW to tinker with a winning formulae.
He still has his pace but general match sharpness and fitness will be lacking for a while. Great player to bring off the bench with 20/30 left. Could be a game changer. Luckily, however, we haven't needed many games to be changed recently!
[quote][p][bold]PositiveFootball[/bold] wrote: Fletcher can't be far away judging by the incredible turn of pace he showed on a couple of occasions when he came on. Must be hard for NW to tinker with a winning formulae.[/p][/quote]He still has his pace but general match sharpness and fitness will be lacking for a while. Great player to bring off the bench with 20/30 left. Could be a game changer. Luckily, however, we haven't needed many games to be changed recently! You're Fired
  • Score: 3

10:41am Tue 18 Mar 14

Peppa07 says...

You're Fired wrote:
PositiveFootball wrote:
Fletcher can't be far away judging by the incredible turn of pace he showed on a couple of occasions when he came on. Must be hard for NW to tinker with a winning formulae.
He still has his pace but general match sharpness and fitness will be lacking for a while. Great player to bring off the bench with 20/30 left. Could be a game changer. Luckily, however, we haven't needed many games to be changed recently!
Yes I'd agree with this. No merit in changing a winning team - and especially one that is winning in style - I'd keep Fletcher as sub - he can do the job either if we need him to change the game or to use his intelligence to shore the game up if need be. Bowman deserves to keep his place...
[quote][p][bold]You're Fired[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PositiveFootball[/bold] wrote: Fletcher can't be far away judging by the incredible turn of pace he showed on a couple of occasions when he came on. Must be hard for NW to tinker with a winning formulae.[/p][/quote]He still has his pace but general match sharpness and fitness will be lacking for a while. Great player to bring off the bench with 20/30 left. Could be a game changer. Luckily, however, we haven't needed many games to be changed recently![/p][/quote]Yes I'd agree with this. No merit in changing a winning team - and especially one that is winning in style - I'd keep Fletcher as sub - he can do the job either if we need him to change the game or to use his intelligence to shore the game up if need be. Bowman deserves to keep his place... Peppa07
  • Score: 5

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