IRATE York City boss Gary Mills has hit out at the boo-boys who are threatening to sap the morale of key players.

Ahead of tomorrow’s League Two clash at Port Vale, where the Minstermen will bid to snap a five-game run without a win, the City boss rounded on the snipers who have criticised his men in recent matches.

Some sections of supporters heckled the team following their 3-0 defeat to AFC Wimbledon at Bootham Crescent last Saturday and Mills was incensed with the treatment handed out to leading scorer Ashley Chambers when he was substituted midway through the second half.

Stressing how far the club had come in the last couple of years, Mills said: “What’s important for everyone connected with York City is that we are progressing.

“We’ve come a long, long way. We’ve come a long way with virtually the same set of players.

“What gets to me is Ashley Chambers getting booed off – or clapped off (for being taken off) – when he was brought off on Saturday.

“I find it amazing that a lad who has worked so hard for two years, and has played a major part in getting this club back to where it is, it astounds me that he actually gets clapped off.

“A lad who everyone knows anyway finds it hard, and has found it hard all through his football career, to have that confidence.

“A lad who scored a goal in the play-off final at Wembley to even enable us to be playing Port Vale tomorrow.

“He needs applauding when he is on the field. It’s things like that. We are progressing, together.”

Mills added: “They were cheering and clapping when he came off. I think it’s disgraceful, actually.

“I don’t want to start sending messages to fans because I think I know, in two years, how hard it has been to be sitting here saying we are going to be playing Port Vale.

“This hasn’t come easily. The fact is that we might have had a poor performance on Saturday and, in my opinion, the only poor performance this season. We might have had 25 minutes here and 25 minutes there occasionally, but we are still progressing.

“We are three points off the play-offs in League Two.”The City chief said: “Everybody is now saying, ‘What’s going wrong?’ It’s incredible. We have progressed unbelievably with the same set of players. Now if we continue to play like we did last Saturday, with poor performances, then it becomes an issue.

“But I think my players showed, along with myself, how we pulled together on Monday (in the 4-3 loss to Wimbledon in the FA Cup first round replay). People will say, ‘You still lost’. Yes we did. But we lost in extra time. It was another game in 90 minutes, with ten men, where we played really well and created chance after chance.”

With Scott Kerr suspended after being sent off in the cup replay, Mills said it was likely Daniel Parslow would reprise the midfield anchor role he carried out so successfully at the back end of last season.

City may be without Oli Johnson, who didn’t train yesterday with a stomach problem, but on-loan forward Alex Rodman will be available having been ruled out against Wimbledon. It is unlikely, however, that David McGurk will play a part.

“I know he has been sitting on the bench but I need to get him some games,” Mills explained.

“We are still trying to get him on a month’s loan and he needs that. I have got Clarke Carlisle, Chris Smith, Chris Doig and Dan Parslow, who can play here, there and everywhere.

“David needs to get out and play some games and it might be a case of dropping down a couple of leagues to get some.”