RYAN BROBBEL has returned to York City “champing at the bit” ahead of tomorrow’s home game with Burton Albion.
The 21-year-old Middlesbrough winger is back at Bootham Crescent having spent four months with the Minstermen before heading back to the Riverside during the January transfer window.
He has been recruited in the wake of Josh Carson’s suspected medial knee ligament injury and City boss Nigel Worthington is hoping the Northern Ireland Under-21 international can reproduce the form that saw him score a brace during October’s 4-1 thrashing of Scunthorpe, while also brushing up on the defensive side of his game.
Brobbel scored three goals in 13 games for City before falling out of favour when Worthington had six loan players vying for five places in his matchday squad.
But there are no such restrictions now, with the Bootham Crescent chief saying: “He’s hungry and champing at the bit to be a part of what we are trying to achieve over the next month or so. He knows what we are about and knows what’s required of him.
“I have spoken to him at length about the defensive side of things because that’s very important but he gives us more options in those wide areas and is another player with pace and a good set-piece delivery.
“You really want him to have more games like he did against Scunthorpe when he was really positive and took the game to the opposition.”
Brobbel was Worthington’s only signing as the window for loan moves closed last night, meaning the Minstermen will carry a squad of 22 professionals, if Wes Fletcher and Carson are ruled out for the remainder of the campaign, along with long-term casualty Dan Parslow.
In addition to the 18-strong squad on duty against Torquay on Tuesday night, Worthington also has Tom Allan, Cameron Murray and Shaq McDonald in reserve and added: “I am happy with our numbers and the team spirit we have at the moment and, touch wood, we won’t lose two players to injury like we did last week.”
Worthington is relishing a run of three games against fellow Sky Bet League Two promotion contenders.
The seventh-placed Minstermen play host to Burton, currently lying fifth, tomorrow and then travel to top-of-the-table Rochdale seven days later.
Following a home match with lowly Accrington, City will then on Good Friday visit an Oxford side lying one point and position above them.
Worthington’s team have shared the spoils in each of their previous meetings with Burton, Rochdale and Oxford this term and, during eight contests in 2013/14 against teams now occupying the division’s top-seven places, City have only lost twice following 2-0 defeats to Fleetwood and Chesterfield.
The City boss said: “They will be three tremendous games to be involved in because there will be something on the game for both teams. Burton are a strong, solid side who like to get out of the traps quickly so we have got to be ready for that and show what we are all about at our place.”
With his side currently two points ahead of eighth-placed Southend following a run of six straight wins, Worthington admitted he could understand supporters getting a little feverish.
But the former Northern Ireland and Norwich chief insisted his players must not get ahead of themselves.
He added: “What’s been happening is great for the fans. They fully deserve it and should get as excited as they want.
“You have to enjoy these situations because they don’t come around too often.
“For myself, the players and staff, we’ve just got to focus on keeping the momentum going because we’ve not achieved anything as yet.
“There are 21 points to play for and all sorts of permutations are still possible.”
Worthington also wants his players not to heed inevitable references to “squeaky bum” time.
“I don’t like talk of pressure and stress,” he explained.
“I think those words are used too often and people can get caught up in them.
“It’s very important that it’s always all about the next game and, when that’s out of the way, just the one after that.”