YORK City boss Nigel Worthington believes his forwards are striking fear into opposition teams despite Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Bristol Rovers.
Only an excellent display by visiting goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall prevented the Minstermen from racking up a fourth consecutive win since the start of 2014 with in-form pair Wes Fletcher and Ryan Bowman causing problems throughout.
And, with Ryan Jarvis also providing a goal threat from the bench currently, Worthington believes Sky Bet League Two defences are becoming frightened of his frontmen.
Fletcher (11) and Jarvis (nine) have scored 20 goals collectively this term, while Bowman has six goals to his name even though he has only started 11 games.
On his team’s attacking threat, Worthington said: “Ryan Bowman’s got energy and he won so many headers and flick-ons against Bristol Rovers. He’s got a fantastic leap and that’s a problem for defenders.
“I have also told Wes that I bet he thought he could never be as fit as he is now. He’s worked hard to get to that point and he’s a strong boy with great energy.
“With Ryan Jarvis as well, we have got three forwards who, when they run at people, you can see the worried faces on the pitch.”
Worthington went on to praise all of his players following a strong performance that would have reaped a great reward had it not been for Mildenhall.
He added: “It was an excellent game of football for League Two with two honest teams having a go to try to win.
“We created more chances than them but their ’keeper had a fantastic day and stopped two or three shots that looked dead-certs to go in.
“I was very pleased with our performance. We showed resilience to keep a clean sheet and tried to win the game at the same time.”
Mildenhall’s City counterpart between the sticks at Bootham Crescent was Nick Pope after he was preferred to the long-serving Michael Ingham by Worthington following his arrival for a second loan spell from Charlton.
Former Northern Ireland international Ingham has never been dropped by four previous City managers but Worthington felt Pope’s performance justified his decision and is now looking forward to a competitive battle for the club’s gloves.
The City chief said: “It (Pope’s preference to Ingham) might have seemed a bit tough but I have to make decisions. Nick was here for two games previously and I thought he did exceptionally well.
“Michael has come back from injury and been in a winning side but I thought the young man showed what a good ’keeper he is.
“The best thing from my point of view and the club’s is that we have got two very strong ’keepers vying for the number one shirt. We have probably not had enough of that before and that was part of the reason for bringing Nick in.”
The Minstermen have now moved up to 13th place in the League Two standings and Worthington is setting his sights on the division’s higher reaches rather than the lower regions the club have occupied through most of 2013/14.
“I don’t want us to be looking over our shoulders and I have told the players that I am looking upwards,” he said.
“I think we have got enough about us to get a good number of points and, if we keep creating chances, I know we have people at the club who can stick the ball in the net.”
Home debutant Russell Penn was forced out of the action late in the second half but is likely to be fit for this weekend’s trip to Hartlepool with Worthington revealing: “He actually took a knock in the first half but he insisted he wanted to carry on, which shows his character.”