Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Worthington: Richard Cresswell adds winning mentality
Updated: RICHARD Cresswell will bring a much-needed “winning mentality” on his return to Bootham Crescent according to York City manager Nigel Worthington.
The 35-year-old striker has been given permission to sign for the Minstermen on a month’s loan from Sheffield United by Worthington’s former team-mate Danny Wilson, who is now in charge of the Blades.
Worthington last night declined to comment on the possibility of Jonathan Greening also returning on loan from Nottingham Forest, choosing not to confirm or deny speculation linking the club with the ex-Manchester United midfielder.
Cresswell was a member of the United team that reached the League One play-off final last season and played the first 85 minutes at Wembley before Huddersfield clinched a penalty shoot-out win.
He has also been involved in the Bramall Lane club’s promotion push this term and, since leaving City in 1999, has helped Stoke reach the Premier League and been involved with Championship play-off campaigns at Preston and Leeds.
The Bridlington-born forward, therefore, has grown accustomed to collecting three points on a regular basis and Worthington reckons that could prove crucial as his team, without a win in 14 matches, look to preserve their Football League status.
Worthington, who played alongside Wilson for club and country when the pair represented Sheffield Wednesday and Northern Ireland, said: “Richard started his career with York and still lives in the city.
“He knows what is happening here and has a feeling for the club. He will bring a wealth of experience of winning matches and that’s what we need.
“He’s also played at the highest level and I am absolutely delighted to get a player of his calibre and experience. His presence in the dressing room should get the best out of the other players as well.”
Cresswell left City to join Sheffield Wednesday back in March 1999 in a £950,000 deal.
He scored 19 goals during that final season and, without him, the Minstermen were subsequently relegated from League One.
The 6ft striker also earned England under-21 honours as a City player and now has 140 goals and 639 career appearances to his name, as well as moves totalling £3.35 million in transfer fees, including a seven-figure switch from Preston to Leeds in 2005.
He had three different spells in the Premier League with Wednesday, Leicester and Stoke but found the net hard to find in the top flight, netting only twice in 66 outings.
Cresswell last hit the target during his first game this term – a 5-3 home win for the Blades against Bournemouth – but 16 of his subsequent 19 appearances have come from the bench.
He last featured as a substitute against Leyton Orient three weeks ago and has been combining his playing responsibilities with coaching the club’s development squad.
But Worthington still believes Cresswell can improve fortunes in front of goal for shot-shy City, who have failed to make the scoresheet in six of their last nine fixtures.
The City boss said: “Part of the reason he has been brought in is to get goals and, hopefully, he will score them if we help him by getting the ball to him from wide areas and the middle of the park.”
Cresswell’s addition brings City’s loan quota to seven with only five permitted to play at any one time.
As a consequence, Alex Rodman was left out of the squad for Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to Port Vale altogether but it is unlikely that any of the seven will leave Bootham Crescent, as they would not be eligible to play for their parent clubs between now and the end of the season and the Minstermen would also be obliged to continue paying their wages.
Worthington would still, however, consider bringing in other temporary signings before tomorrow’s transfer deadline if he feels they would strengthen the squad.
He said: “We are still looking around. That’s ongoing but anybody coming in would have to improve what we already have.”
The City chief added that, with more than 300 appearances for the Minstermen, the long-serving McGurk’s affinity with the club makes him an attractive proposition for selection but also stressed there are other considerations to be taken into account following the 30-year-old centre-back’s two-month absence due to hamstring and calf problems.
Worthington said: “We are getting to the situation where you look to experience but it’s also got to be about being up to scratch fitness-wise and he has been out for a few weeks.”