Will Hayhurst’s future at York City out of his hands
ON-LOAN winger Will Hayhurst is happy to let York City and Preston decide where he will spend the rest of the season.
The teenage flank man’s current one-month spell with the Minstermen will expire following Saturday’s home match with Southend.
Whether he stays at Bootham Crescent will then be a matter for City chief Nigel Worthington and Lilywhites leader Simon Grayson to discuss.
Offering his thoughts, Hayhurst said: “It’s my last game on Saturday so, hopefully, I can get a start and impress. Then, it’s down to what Preston and York think.
“I just want to concentrate on my football. I’m not sure what will happen, but I am enjoying my time here and have settled in brilliantly.
“The gaffer has been fantastic and I think we’re playing really well.”
Since his switch from Deepdale, Hayhurst has started two matches and been hailed from the bench during the other two games.
He has no argument, however, with the competition for places he has faced from the likes of Josh Carson and Michael Coulson, while full Estonian international Sander Puri, currently struggling for game time, is another option.
“It’s fantastic that we’ve got players fighting for positions,” Hayhurst reasoned. “You can’t just be happy to be the only player in your position.
“You need somebody over your shoulder to keep fighting with you for your spot. We are a close bunch and I have realised this is a fantastic squad to be a part of since being here.”
Left-footed pair Hayhurst and Carson kicked off Saturday’s 4-0 win at Plymouth and exchanged flanks during the contest – a swap that the former was pleased to make, adding: “Me and Josh had a word about switching wings to offer something different. We are both confident driving down the line or cutting inside and linking up play so, hopefully, that’s a good option for the team and I really enjoyed it.”
Despite Plymouth defender Neal Trotman’s 11th-minute sending-off assisting the visitors in their quest for three points at the weekend, Hayhurst also argued that the platform for an away win had already been put in place prior to the early dismissal.
He said: “I thought we were fantastic. The gaffer wanted us to start brightly and get at them and I thought we did that.
“Even if there hadn’t been a sending off, we fancied our chances. Obviously, it helped us with the penalty, but I thought we kicked on after that.
“We could have sat back and let them come on to us, but I thought we were very, very disciplined and professional and worked hard for one another, which showed with the 4-0 result.”
With promotion hopefuls Fleetwood and Plymouth having been seen off during the Minstermen’s first back-to-back away triumphs of the season, Hayhurst is now hoping the team can improve on a three-game run without a win or a goal on their own soil.
“The last two away results have been fantastic,” he pointed out. “Hopefully, we can come back home and get the fans cheering with a good result there, because I think we can really kick on from Saturday and move up the table.”
Hayhurst was delighted, meanwhile, with the minute’s applause before the Plymouth match to mark Friday’s passing of Preston and England legend Tom Finney.
“It was sad news,” he said of Finney’s death. “I met him which was a great honour and, when you are a local lad, you know everything about him.
“I used to go football with my nanna and she told me how much of a legend he is. That was shown by the fact that we had the applause on Saturday even though we were down south.
“That was brilliant and I was glad to be a part of it. He will be sorely missed up and down the country but, hopefully, Preston can kick on for him now.”
Despite only being 19, Hayhurst also admitted that Finney, who celebrated his 91st birthday last year, still serves as an inspiration for budding footballers in his Lancashire home town.
Finney scored 30 goals in 76 games for England and was also twice named Footballer of the Year despite spending his whole career at Preston.
On his legacy, Hayhurst explained: “It’s tough trying to follow in his footsteps but every lad in Preston wants to dream of that although, if you can have half as good a career as he had, then you would be proud and happy.”
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