York City players urged to ‘lay down a marker’ against table-toppers Oxford United (From York Press)
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York City players urged to ‘lay down a marker’ against table-toppers Oxford United
YORK City manager Nigel Worthington has called on his players to “lay down a marker” by ending Oxford United’s unbeaten away record in Sky Bet League Two.
The U’s have won six and drawn three on their league travels this term but Worthington believes his team are capable of rising to the occasion tomorrow at Bootham Crescent.
From the sides currently occupying the top seven places in the division, the Minstermen have beaten Scunthorpe 4-1 and led against both Chesterfield and Burton before being forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
On his team’s chances against the present leaders, Worthington said: “It’s a great challenge but, if we perform how we can, we can get a result and it’s a great chance for us to lay down a marker to show what we are about.
“The table tells you they are a good side but we have held our own against the top three or four teams and we must be positive and turn up mentally right from 1.30pm tomorrow.
“That is important because, even if one player is not ready mentally and has a blip, that can cost you.
“We need to put them on the back foot and go at them but, because of what they have got up front, they will have chances and we have got to deal with that and put our heads in where it hurts.”
Worthington also feels that Oxford offer a good example of what could be achieved at Bootham Crescent given patience and stability.
The U’s boss Chris Wilder is now the fifth-longest serving manager in English professional football after Arsene Wenger and Paul Tisdale.
Following three seasons of mid-table finishes since their Conference play-off final victory over Martin Foyle’s Minstermen in 2010, the club are now making a concerted push for promotion.
Worthington added: “After 18 months in the League, we are in a transitional period and it’s a gradual thing.
“We are learning, adjusting, adding to and acclimatising but everybody knows football is ruthless and does not wait for anybody.
“We would like more points than we have got but it’s a fine line and we have just got to turn those draws into wins.
“We want to get into a healthy position and take the pressure off towards the end of the season.
“We have been playing well and maybe we need to play indifferently and pick up three points but I prefer to put in a good performance and get a result.”
City will be without the suspended Ryan Bowman tomorrow, while centre-backs Dan Parslow and Chris Smith remain sidelined but ’keeper Michael Ingham could be back in the squad as he attempts to shrug off his hip flexor problem.
“Hopefully, Michael might be available to be in and around the group tomorrow,” the City boss said.
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