NIGEL Worthington is calling on York City’s wingers, midfielders and defenders to score more goals.
In 17 matches since mid-November, Michael Coulson is the only player, outside of striking trio Wes Fletcher, Ryan Bowman and Ryan Jarvis, to have found the net for City.
When those three players are taken out of the equation, only four other players currently on the books at Bootham Crescent – Coulson, Josh Carson, David McGurk and Lewis Montrose – have netted during 2013/14.
Of that quartet, only Carson, without a goal in 15 matches, has managed to hit the target more than once this term.
Departed loan pair Ryan Brobbel (three) and Luke O’Neill (one) are the club’s only other marksmen, aside from two own goals.
That means, from the present playing staff, City’s full-backs are yet to contribute a goal this campaign, while the solitary McGurk and Montrose attempts are the only efforts from centre-back and the middle of midfield respectively – the latter netting after Portsmouth ’keeper John Sullivan dropped the ball on to his heel.
City chief Worthington said: “It’s never just about forwards scoring the goals. The wingers, midfielders and defenders need to contribute as well.
“Our defenders, in particular, have been getting wonderful opportunities to score in several games over the last seven weeks but they haven’t been converted. It’s all down to focus and concentration and making sure you keep getting in the right areas.
“There have been lots of good things to take from our performances but we have got to finish that off by scoring the goals you need to get three points. We have got to force the issue a bit more in a controlled manner because the chances have been there.
“We had at least three good opportunities last weekend and we have to make sure we are working the ’keeper or scoring goals, which we are working at in training.”
McGurk (back) has more chance of making the long trip to Devon than Jarvis (ankle) as the pair continue their comebacks.
On the threat provided by the Pilgrims, Worthington added: “I know John (Sheridan) well and his teams will always pass the ball and work hard. They have got the big striker up front (Reuben Reid) and Rommy Boco, who has good energy and likes to make runs behind defences, so we will need to be aware of that while concentrating on doing what we do well.”
The City boss also expressed his pleasure at Josh Carson’s decision to commit his future to the club until the summer of 2015.
Carson has agreed a one-year contract extension to his previous deal and Worthington believes there is still time for the 20-year-old to realise the potential that saw him play in the Championship and as a full Northern Ireland international as a teenager.
“I am delighted Josh has signed for another year,” Worthington admitted. “He’s worked really hard and done a really good, solid, capable job for the team over the first three-quarters of the season.
“He fully deserves the contract and it’s one less for the chairman and I to sort out in the summer. He’s still only 20 and there’s a lot of potential there.
“By signing for us, he can keep working hard, show people what he’s about and use this as a springboard to progress – either with us or somebody else – because he’s got that energy about him, enjoys his football and has fantastic enthusiasm.
“He is capable of playing at a higher level again if he keeps his head down and does what he has done over the last five months. I know him inside out and he knows me very well, so it’s good for both of us he has signed an extension.”
Tom Allan, Coulson, Michael Ingham, McGurk, Lanre Oyebanjo, Adam Reed, Shaq McDonald and Chris Dickinson will also be out of contract in the summer but Worthington has no immediate plans to discuss their futures.
He said: “We will see where we are with the other players – probably towards the summer – and go from there.”
The City chief, meanwhile, is monitoring Jarvis’ injury situation before deciding whether to enter the loan market again.
“We’ve got two loans available, if we require them,” he said.
“We are seeing if Jarv is nearly there but, if he isn’t and it’s an injury that continues to niggle, we might need to look at that department.”
YORK City have made 14 previous visits to Home Park in the second, third and fourth tiers of the Football League winning twice and drawing five times.
The two victories were 2-0 in 1973/74 and 2-1 in 1994/95 and the heaviest defeat was 4-0 in 1971/72.
They have lost and failed to score on their last four visits – 0-2 1999/2000, 0-1 2000/1, 0-1 2001/2 and 0-2 last term.
City’s line-up on December 8, 2012, was: Ingham, Parslow, C Smith, Doig (Blanchett), Fyfield, Kerr, Potts (Reed), McLaughlin (Challinor), Blair, Walker, Chambers.
Players who have appeared for both clubs include Charlie Twissell, Phil Burrows, Jim Hinch, Gordon Staniforth, Steve Cooper and Craig Skinner.
It happened on February 15
1930: City won 3-2 in Division Three North at second in the table Stockport County thanks to goals from Harold Beck, Wally Gardner and Tommy Fenoughty.
1936: Fred Speed, Jimmy Hughes and Peter Spooner were on the scoresheet in a 3-2 victory at Rochdale in the Northern Section.
1958: A 3-3 draw at home to Chesterfield in Division Three North watched by 4,813 and it marked the last in City colours for Arthur Bottom. He scored one of the goals along with Terry Farmer and Billy Hughes and a few days later was transferred to Newcastle United having scored 105 goals in 158 senior appearances for City.
1983: Gary Ford and John Byrne netted in a 2-0 Fourth Division (League Two) win over Blackpool at Bootham Crescent in front of 2,937. It was the ninth successive home win in League and Cup.
1986: For the second successive season City drew 1-1 at home to Liverpool in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Gary Ford gave City the lead with the First Division (Premier League) side equalising from the penalty spot. The attendance was 12,572 and the line-up was: Leaning, Senior, Hood, McAughtrie, MacPhail, Mills, Ford, Banton, Walwyn, Haslegrave, Canham.
2003: City drew 0-0 at home to Third Division (League Two) leaders Hartlepool United watched by 5,953 in a game televised by Sky.
2011: Jamie Reed was the scorer in a 1-0 home victory over Fleetwood Town in the Blue Square Premier. The crowd was 2,220.
Compiled by Dave Batters