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York City winger Ashley Chambers urged to pile on pressure
ASHLEY Chambers has been challenged to give York City manager Nigel Worthington a selection headache, ahead of tomorrow’s League Two clash at Newport.
Since being dropped from the starting line-up at the start of September, Chambers has begun the last four League Two matches on the bench, finishing two of the games as an unused substitute and another as an 85th-minute replacement.
But, in the absence of Northern Ireland under-21 wingers Josh Carson and Ryan Brobbel due to international duty, the former Leicester forward returned to the first XI for City’s last match – the 3-0 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy home defeat to Rotherham.
He also came on for Brobbel after 56 minutes during the previous League encounter with Torquay – won 3-0 by the Minstermen – and is now in contention to retain that starting shirt as Worthington assesses Brobbel for any signs of fatigue following his midweek exertions, which included a long journey home from Serbia following a 3-1 defeat to the Balkan country – a fixture Carson missed due to suspension.
On the fight for wide places, Worthington said: “We are looking for Ash Chambers and Sander Puri to put pressure on the likes of Carson and Brobbel because we want competition for places throughout the squad to push people on.
“That all comes down to the individual and their determination to make things happen. You need to take that opportunity when it comes along because it might be a long time before it comes along again.”
Puri is unlikely to kick off tomorrow’s game having played in both of Estonia’s final World Cup qualifying matches at home to Turkey and in Romania on Tuesday night.
But Worthington is pleased that Carson, Brobbel, Puri and Scotland under-21 international ’keeper Chris Kettings have all returned from the international break reporting a clean bill of health.
The City boss added: “They have all come back fine. Sander started on Tuesday which is pleasing and they all got back late on Wednesday so we had to manage them properly in training yesterday to make sure they are spot on for tomorrow.
“They have been on some very long trips though and, while I would say most of our team selections are in place, there are one or two we will be thinking about before we settle on the starting line-up.”
Michael Coulson (foot) and Chris Dickinson (ankle) will not be making the trip to South Wales but Lanre Oyebanjo has recovered from a thigh problem and could be in a straight fight for the right-back slot with on-loan defender Luke O’Neill.
On that contest, Worthington said: “We have options right through the squad and we will be looking at what’s right for the game.”
Elliott Whitehouse will also be available despite Sheffield United having sacked manager David Weir after he had agreed to extend the teenage midfielder’s loan stay in North Yorkshire.
Blades caretaker boss Chris Morgan has not recalled Whitehouse, as the Bramall Lane club are now entitled to do, with Worthington believing that decision should benefit all parties.
“We have it pencilled in that Elliott will be here until the first week in January but he’s on a 24-hour recall,” Worthington explained.
“Hopefully, Sheffield United can pick up some good results with Chris in charge or whoever takes over and we can hold on to Elliott for the moment because I think it’s an education for him and it will work out well for Elliott, ourselves and Sheffield United if that happens.”
City, meanwhile, will take on Newport with last season’s Conference play-off final winners having suffered their most comprehensive defeat of the new campaign last weekend when they went down 3-0 at Rochdale.
The hosts will not be under-estimated by Worthington, however, who said: “We are mindful that they had a disappointing result and performance but they have done well this season and their home form has played a major part in that.
“Just because they have come up does not make it an easy game but, after a long break from the league, we will be looking to start again from where we left off at Torquay.”
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