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York City encouraged to ‘have a go’ at Wimbledon
NEW manager Nigel Worthington is encouraging his team to shoot on sight during his first match in charge of York City at AFC Wimbledon tomorrow.
The Minstermen have only managed one goal from open play in their last nine matches and not scored more than a single goal in any fixture since a 3-0 home win over Burton on New Year’s Day.
But Worthington, who has worked with the likes of Peter Crouch, Dion Dublin, Dean Ashton, Darren Huckerby and Robert Earnshaw in the past, wants his players to pull the trigger at every possible opportunity.
The former Norwich and Northern Ireland chief said: “Scoring goals is all about practice, self-belief and having the courage to go and shoot. I’m a great believer in shooting on sight.
“I’ve told the players in training that if they get a chance to have a go then take it because the ball can come off one or them or one of us. If anybody misses, I won’t be having a go at them because I want the lads to be positive.
“We need to move forward and take the game to Wimbledon in a controlled way.”
Centre-back Chris Doig is expected to be in contention for the Kingsmeadow clash despite missing training this week due to a virus but Curtis Obeng is unlikely to make the trip due to the same illness, while David McGurk (calf) could be available for Tuesday’s home match with Rochdale.
With Worthington still learning about his inherited players, he admitted that he will lean heavily on newly- promoted first-team coach Steve Torpey when he selects his side to take on the Dons.
Worthington added: “I’ve been picking Steve’s brains so a lot of it will be based on what I’ve heard from him but, also, partly from what I’ve seen on the training ground.”
Victory would move bottom-of-the-table Wimbledon within a point of the Minstermen with a game in hand and Worthington, a veteran of many meetings with the Dons’ old Crazy Gang in his playing days, is expecting a similar physical examination from their class of 2012/13.
He said: “The old Plough Lane ground was an intimidating place to go and your mindset had to be right from kick off to the final whistle. When it’s like that you have to make sure you match the physical approach of the home team to get a result otherwise you get overrun and overpowered, and we can’t afford for that to happen.
“Training here has gone very well this week and the attitude and spirit has been excellent. But that’s training and we have got to bring that into the game.
“All the players can handle the ball, which is a big plus, but what I will be really looking for tomorrow, because I know AFC Wimbledon are a big, strong and physical side, is how we cope in that respect.
“Have we got the mental and physical strength to deal with that side of the game? If we have, then we can use this quality that we have got to pass the ball, create opportunities and take them when they come.”
City will be taking on Wimbledon for the fourth time this season, having lost two and drawn one of the previous encounters back in November.
Under Gary Mills, the team were held 1-1 at Bootham Crescent in the FA Cup first round before being unfortunate to lose the replay 4-3 after extra-time following Scott Kerr’s first-half red card. In between those two ties, the Minstermen were also comprehensively beaten 3-0 at home in the league.
Worthington, though, is counting on those fixtures carrying no relevance ahead of this latest encounter. He said: “I would hope it’s a brand new, fresh game. There’s everything to play for and we are in a situation where we need points sooner rather than later.”
Meanwhile, 23-year-old Sheffield Wednesday ’keeper Arron Jameson has joined City on an emergency loan, and John McGrath’s loan from Burton has been extended to the end of the season.