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York City manager Nigel Worthington insists no immunity from the axe
THE DROPPING of skipper Chris Smith proves nobody is guaranteed a starting place at York City, according to manager Nigel Worthington.
Smith was the only outfield player to have played every minute of Worthington’s 17-game reign prior to being named on the substitutes’ bench for Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Mansfield.
The 32-year-old defender played a key role in last season’s successful battle against relegation and capped that campaign by lifting The Press Player of the Year award.
But, along with the likes of fellow defender George Taft, Ashley Chambers, Craig Clay and Tom Platt, Smith lost his position in the first XI following the disappointing 2-0 loss against AFC Wimbledon at Bootham Crescent.
On the example Smith’s demotion set for the rest of the squad, City chief Worthington said: “Within any football club, nobody has the right to any place in the team.
“It’s straightforward – selection is based on how players perform. I felt he had been a bit below par and maybe a breather will do him good.
“You are looking for responses from one Saturday to the next and those I got from the players that came in at the weekend were good. All we can do as managers and coaches is give opportunities to players.
“It’s then up to them to take them. If they do, then great. If not, then we have to look at it.”
In the absence of Smith, who remains club captain, Dan Parslow donned the armband on his return to the team and Worthington added that the former Wales Under-21 international was a natural selection for the role.
Parslow previously captained the team under Martin Foyle and led the players out on the club’s first-ever visit to the new Wembley stadium in 2009 for the FA Trophy final against Stevenage.
On reinstating him in the job, Worthington said: “Dan Parslow is an excellent professional who is very popular among the players.
“He is very rarely injured so, with Chris not being in the team, we looked at it and Pars was very much the obvious choice.”
Surprisingly, Saturday’s game saw long-serving pair Parslow and David McGurk complete their first senior match as central-defensive partners for two-and-a-half years since a 1-0 home win over Histon back in March 2011 and Worthington was pleased with the duo’s displays.
He said: “Mansfield’s strikers Calvin Andrew and Ollie Palmer are a handful but I thought they dealt with them reasonably well.”
The City boss has also confirmed that the club are unlikely to contest Richard Cresswell’s red card following his off-the-ball clash with Stags defender Martin Riley, who was also sent off.
“There didn’t look too much in it and I will have to see the referee’s report and take things from there but it’s unlikely that we will be appealing,” Worthington said.
“We know how these things work and, once the decisions have been made, they rarely get overturned.”
The Minstermen now travel to Wycombe this weekend aiming to avoid a fifth straight defeat but Worthington is remaining positive, saying: “Aside from the Wimbledon game, three out of the last four performances have been very good. It’s just a case of getting that win to go along with the displays.”
Teenage right-back Mike Atkinson, meanwhile is expected to join fellow first-year professional Chris Dickinson on loan at Northallerton Town this week.
Dickinson made his debut in Saturday’s 3-0 Northern League victory at Ryton & Crawcrook.
Worthington believes both players will benefit from a regular taste of senior football, adding: “It will give them a game of football.
“It will be rough and ready but a good experience in how to look after yourself.”
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