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Body verve lifts York City's David McGurk
YORK City defender David McGurk has taken huge encouragement from his body standing up to three games in a week.
The 31-year-old centre-back, who has been plagued by knee, calf, hamstring and throat problems over the past two years, completed 90 minutes in the Minstermen’s matches against Morecambe and Rochdale, having replaced an injured Dan Parslow just past the quarter-of-an-hour mark at Southend.
That represents a positive benchmark for McGurk whose longest sequence of successive starts since New Year’s Day 2012 only runs to five matches.
Due to his chequered recent fitness record, the ex-Darlington defender dare not suggest his days in the treatment room are behind him but he told The Press: “I’m feeling good and strong in games and I’m staying back for set-pieces now so I don’t have to do the extra running.
“I don’t know what’s around the corner so I can’t speak too soon at any point but it was good to get through three games in a week because I have broken down twice this season after doing that. Hopefully, with a two-week break between games now, I can get myself rested and ready for the next one.”
McGurk also admitted the club’s first back-to-back clean sheets since Easter have provided a boost for everybody at City, following ten matches without a shut-out.
He added: “It’s massive to get the two clean sheets because, when you go a fair time without one, it does start to get to you.
“We have clamped down on things because, while every goal you concede is a bad one, we were giving too many soft ones away and we are trying to eradicate that.”
Most encouragingly, following a flurry of goals conceded from set-pieces, the Minstermen have dealt with dead-ball deliveries better during the 0-0 draws with a tall Morecambe team and Rochdale.
On addressing the team’s free-kick and corner fallibility, McGurk said: “We started working on them in training but, apart from slinging balls into the box, there’s not a lot else you can do.
“When you are marking man to man, then your name and the number you are marking is up on the sheet, so if they score it’s your fault.
“It might be unlucky but there’s no way around it. You have to take responsibility for your man and set-pieces are a big part of the game at this level.
“There are teams who try to stay up and get their points from them so you have to deal with balls into your box. It’s as simple as that.”
Having first played for City back in 2004, McGurk has participated in three play-off campaigns at the club and as many relegation scraps – both in the Football League and Conference.
He is talking from experience, therefore, when he claims that the fourth-bottom Minstermen can soon climb the League Two standings. “We’re not far away and there are such fine lines in this division,” said McGurk
“I’ve seen enough ability to know we can go on that four or five-game winning run that will push us into mid-table and then see where we can go from there but it’s got to happen sooner rather than later because it does get harder the more you get sucked into it.
“You are then playing games where there’s not so much quality and it’s more of a scrap and a fight but I think there’s a lot more quality in the squad than there was last season.
“We are not shy of goals and we have created chances in the last two games but have not taken them.
“sAt least, we are creating them though and the biggest concern had been keeping the goals out but we have kept two cleans sheets now and, as long as we can do that, I am confident we will get the goals at the other end.”
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