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York City's Jamal Fyfield focused on the fight
JAMAL Fyfield is determined not to lose his York City place again under new manager Nigel Worthington.
Despite the lack of another specialist left-back at the club, Fyfield was completely left out of City’s 18-man squads for the final three games of sacked boss Gary Mills’ reign, having started the previous 25 matches.
But Worthington, a former left-back himself, has given Fyfield, who turns 24 on Sunday, a reprieve by including him in his first two starting line-ups with utility man Daniel Parslow moving over to right-back.
The former Maidenhead defender spent long spells in and out of favour under Mills, making 39 appearances last season before his involvement in the two historic Wembley games was limited to a seven-minute cameo as a substitute in the 2-0 FA Trophy final victory over Newport.
He did not even make the bench for the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final against Luton with on-loan centre-half Ben Gibson preferred at left-back for both matches.
At the start of this season, Fyfield also fell behind Danny Blanchett and on-loan Leeds defender Charlie Taylor in the pecking order for a starting role before winning back his place in mid-September.
On his latest battle to re-establish himself in the team, Fyfield said: “Every footballer wants to start games and, if that isn’t the case, then there’s something wrong.
“I’ve been in the situation before where I’ve not been in the squad and learned from it. I know what it takes to stay in the team so I want to take this chance that the gaffer has given me now.”
With Worthington having played in the 1986 World Cup finals and won the League Cup as a left-back, Fyfield also believes he can now benefit from the new manager’s knowledge of the position.
He added: “The gaffer has been helping me on the training pitch. He’s shown me a few different positions and ways to adjust my body in certain situations but he’s been helping all the boys and everyone has taken to him, (assistant manager) Fred Barber and (first-team coach) Steve Torpey.”
Fyfield upset Mills during the final weeks of his tenure for costly mistakes made in his own half but Worthington wants his defenders to take a safety-first policy.
“We always wanted to play at a high tempo under the previous manager so that hasn’t changed much but we are all learning and adapting to the new gaffer’s methods,” the City full-back added.
“We all know what the previous gaffer did for the club and are thankful for that but the powers that be made a change and it’s time for a new chapter.
“I am glad that everybody at the club is showing the new gaffer their support. He’s been there and done it at the highest level before so, if we should listen to anybody, it’s him.”
Fyfield went on to stress, however, that the whole team now need to take responsibility for a poor run in front of goal that has seen the side fail to score in six of the current run of 13 matches without a win.
He said: “We have a lot of quality in the team with the likes of Matty Blair and Ash Chambers but maybe what has been lacking has been the service to the strikers. That’s not just down to the wingers but the full-backs and midfielders. I think if we are more positive, we will score more goals.”
Promotion contenders Port Vale are the latest opponents tomorrow as City’s long search for that elusive win continues but a defiant Fyfield insisted: “We’re not scared of anybody really.
“Everyone is looking forward to the games now. The gaffer has instilled a new confidence in us and we want to work hard to stay in this League.
“We’ve just got to make sure we get safe because nobody wants to go back to the Conference. We have a lot of steel and don’t want to be in this situation. If we go and do what the gaffer is telling us, I am sure we will be okay.”