York City wait on Ben Davies fitness ahead of Accrington Stanley clash in League Two
Updated 4:41pm Thursday 10th April 2014 in Sport
YORK City are hopeful that Ben Davies will be fit enough to face Accrington Stanley at Bootham Crescent on Saturday.
Left-back Davies missed last weekend's 0-0 draw at Rochdale with a knee injury but returned to training yesterday and could replace fellow teenager Tom Allan, who deputised at Spotland.
On-loan Preston defender Davies has played more games than any other player at the club this season and his fitness will be monitored before manager Nigel Worthington settles on his first XI for the Sky Bet League Two clash.
"Ben's very good," Worthington said of Davies' current condition. "He's had his bump but trained today for the first time this week and we are waiting to see whether there will be a reaction.
"We will then decide which individual will be the right player to deal with whoever Accrington play down that side."
Three points against Stanley will ensure the Minstermen retain their place in the play-off zone but Worthington has warned his players that the 15th-placed visitors, still not safe from relegation, will pose a threat, especially from dead-ball deliveries.
The Minstermen chief added: "I have full respect for Accrington. It won't be a walk in the park and I will be making sure the players know that.
"James Beattie has done a fantastic job and they are still looking for points to stay clear of the bottom two, so our mental approach, work ethic and courage to play the game will need to be 100 per cent right. They are strong at set-pieces.
"They have four or five big players who attack the ball aggressively so we will have to be touch tight in the penalty box. I also know the lad James Gray up front very well from Northern Ireland under 21s.
"He can be sharp, neat and tidy on the ball and can turn and score a goal."
With only a deflected Will Hayhurst goal to show from just under six hours of football, Worthington is also calling on his players to shoot on sight against Stanley, reasoning: "Clean sheets are important and you will never find me denying that, so we have got to keep things going at that end of the pitch and, when we get chances, we really do need to be ruthless as a team, not just strikers and wide players.
"That means making sure we hit the target more often that not and, if we do that, we will get the ball over the line."
Worthington's team will equal a club record of eight consecutive clean sheets should they keep Accrington off the scoresheet but the City boss insisted wins take priority over making an impression in the Bootham Crescent history books.
"This run is great for the team and great for confidence," Worthington pointed out. "But I'm not too bothered about records.
"I am bothered about keeping clean sheets and winning games and that's what everybody is focussed on."
Worthington also feels now is not the right time to be setting a top-seven points target for his side, suggesting that he would wait until 5pm on Easter Monday before deciding what is required.
He said: "I have not set a points tally. I think by the final whistle at Bury, when there will be two games to go, will give us a good indication of whether we are going to be in there or not."
With Plymouth and Oxford - the two teams directly below seventh-placed City in the League Two standings - facing each other in Devon on Saturday, a draw in that game, coupled with a home win at Bootham Crescent, would leave the Minstermen four and three points clear of their respective rivals.
City would then travel to Oxford on Good Friday but Worthington is paying no attention to results elsewhere, stressing: "It's about ourselves and what we do.
"We can't be looking over our shoulders and thinking I hope this, that or the other happens."
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