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Craig Clay or Tom Platt set to start as York City hunt victory at Torquay United
CRAIG Clay or Tom Platt will replace the suspended Lewis Montrose for York City at Torquay tomorrow.
City chief Nigel Worthington has decided against a recall for captain Chris Smith, who might have returned at centre-back had Dan Parslow been restored to an anchoring midfield role at Plainmoor.
Worthington is reluctant, though, to shuffle his pack too much following last weekend’s 4-2 victory over Portsmouth.
That means Parslow will continue in the heart of defence alongside David McGurk in Devon, with Worthington still undecided whether Clay or Platt should partner Elliott Whitehouse in the middle of the park.
Clay has not even made the City bench for the last four matches after losing his starting place following the 2-0 home defeat to AFC Wimbledon.
Former youth-team skipper Platt was also dropped after that match but did replace Montrose on Saturday when the latter was substituted during the game’s closing stages.
The fact that Clay has been overlooked in recent weeks will not influence Worthington’s thinking tomorrow, however, with the City manager saying: “Lewis Montrose will miss a game and we are still looking at that and who can come in and do the most effective job.
“I don’t want to tinker too much because people are settled in places and are doing well in places so it will be pretty much a like-for-like change with one of two players coming in. It has been a toss up between Craig and Tom as to which one to put on the bench in the last few weeks.
“We have been going off little things we have seen in training but they are not that far apart and, to be honest, it could be either of them playing tomorrow. That’s where my mind is at the moment.
“Nothing has been settled. There are similarities between the two players and we have got to be aware of that and think which one will hook up with Elliott best to complement him because, if he is to go forward, the other player has to be a bit more reserved.”
Worthington has also been working hard to keep his players’ feet on the ground.
Last weekend’s impressive result represented only the Minstermen’s second victory of the season and he does not want another false dawn after the opening-day triumph over Northampton, which was followed by eight games without a win.
“We showed what we are capable of doing,” Worthington said of the Pompey win. “We worked hard, passed the ball, created chances and scored goals.
“We didn’t keep a clean sheet and we are still conceding soft goals which is at the back of my mind and needs tidying up, but that performance was along the right lines of what we are looking for.
“If we play like that, we will win more games than not but it’s all about doing it on a consistent basis because I have been reminding the players of what happened at the start of the season.
“They performed well to beat Northampton but then went walk about for a few weeks. Maybe some players thought they had made it after that one match but it has to be done week in, week out.
“For that reason, nobody should be focusing on what happened against Porstmouth now. That’s history and, as soon as the whistle sounds at the end of one game, it’s all about the next one.”
Nor does Worthington want his squad to look too far into the future.
Tomorrow’s fixture is the first of three consecutive away matches in League Two due to the postponement of next weekend’s scheduled Scunthorpe game because of international call-ups.
After Plainmoor, the Minstermen travel to Newport a fortnight tomorrow and then leaders Chesterfield three days later.
In fact, City will play six of their next nine League games on the road and nine of the 14 they have left to play before the end of the year.
But it is not a timetable to concern Worthington, who reasoned: “You can only deal with one game at a time and not look too far ahead.
“Wherever you play there’s a football pitch, green grass, white lines, a goal at either end and people watching.
“It’s all about the mental side of the game.
“For that reason, our journey to Devon will not be an issue either.”
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