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Nigel Worthington in warning to York City striking star Ryan Bowman
RYAN Bowman has been told he must take responsibility for his poor disciplinary record and not look to blame referees for spending nine weeks of the season suspended.
Following Saturday’s 0-0 home draw with League Two leaders Oxford, no York City player has managed to get their name on the scoresheet during the four-match ban Bowman has now completed.
City have only a Shane Cansdell-Sherriff own goal to show for their efforts during more than six hours of football since former Hereford striker Bowman netted at Southend.
His absence has also coincided with the retirement of fellow forward Richard Cresswell.
But Bowman, 22, will be back in contention for the Boxing Day trip to Accrington Stanley, with Minstermen chief Nigel Worthington warning him against a third dismissal of the season following red cards at Bristol Rovers and Southend since his summer arrival.
His bans have totalled seven games already this term and a third early shower could result in an additional five matches on the sidelines.
On the return to the fold of Bowman, who has only started four league games this season but has as many goals to his name, Worthington said: “He is another option and that keeps players on their toes.
“Hopefully, when he comes back, he will stay on the pitch because I have added it up and he has missed a third of the season. That situation is down to Ryan, not the referees’ fault.
“He’s still got to work hard and do what he needs to do for the team, but go about it in the right way and be careful.”
A draw against Oxford means the Minstermen have now gone nine games without a win but have shared the spoils seven times during that sequence.
Worthington’s side have yet to be defeated by any of the team’s currently occupying the automatic promotion places.
They have drawn against Chesterfield and beaten Scunthorpe, with the former Northern Ireland chief remaining encouraged by his team’s form.
He said: “Our appetite for the game was there, the quality was there and we competed very well all over the park.
“We had chances but did not manage to put them in the net. We are on the right lines though and doing so many good things.
“We have just got to keep plodding away because we are not far away. We have played the top three teams now and held our own.
“We are doing everything except finishing games off and, from a work point of view, I cannot ask anything more of the players.”
Saturday’s clean sheet represented a third in four games for City, with Worthington reasoning that every player has now got to take collective responsibility to ensure the team start troubling opponents at the other end of the pitch again.
Citing a second-half set-piece that midfielder Lewis Montrose narrowly failed to connect with at the weekend, the Minstermen boss said: “We have become very solid and that’s important because that gives us a foundation to work from.
“Hopefully, the goals will start to come because we are creating chances. It’s not just strikers we are looking at either.
“We had a chance from a Josh Carson free-kick and, regardless of who is on the end of them, you have got to attack the ball and make it hit you. We’ve just got to get some wins now because other teams are picking them up.”
Ryan Brobbel was recalled to Saturday’s starting line-up for the first time in eight matches after falling victim to the Football League restrictions that only allow five on-loan players to be selected in a match-day squad.
Instead, Sheffield United midfielder Elliott Whitehouse missed out against the U’s, with Tom Platt deputising for him.
Brobbel gave way for Michael Coulson, however, early in the second half with Worthington adding: “I thought young Platty did a good, solid job and I wanted to play Brobbs at home to help us go forward.
“He knows he can be a threat but he probably spoilt it for himself and me when he played exceptionally well against Scunthorpe because he laid down a marker then and you want to see that level of performance on a regular basis.”
Goalkeeper Michael Ingham, meanwhile, was named on the bench as he edges closer to full fitness following his hip flexor problem “He trained for two days before the game so we put him on the bench and he shouldn’t be far away now,” Worthington explained.
The City chief also confirmed that his players would be reporting for training at Bootham Crescent on Christmas Day, reasoning: “Christmas and Easter are probably our busiest times of the year.
“It’s when we work and it’s as simple as that. The players had a rest day yesterday but will train today and tomorrow and anybody who wants to come and join us for a 5.30pm session on Wednesday is welcome to do so.”
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