Russell Penn shows an Iron will in York City's play-off push
Updated 11:03am Monday 21st April 2014 in Sport
RUSSELL Penn has insisted going to old club Scunthorpe needing a result on the final day of the season would hold no fear for him and his York City team-mates.
The Iron have not lost a game since mid-November and will wrap up a record-breaking campaign at home to the play-off chasing Minstermen a week on Saturday.
Depending on other teams’ results, as well as their own, it is possible that City could have secured a top-seven place before the two teams meet at Glanford Park.
But, if that is not the case, then City skipper Penn is confident that the players could finish off the job against a club he left at the age of 19 without making a senior appearance.
The 28-year-old midfielder said: “We would like to wrap up a play-off place as quickly as we can, of course, but I can see it going to the wire to be honest. We will just be trying to do as well as we can in the games before then to see where that takes us but, if we have to go to Scunthorpe and get something, then so be it.
"There are probably still four teams going for two play-off places, but I am confident we have got all the credentials to get there."
Before concluding the regular campaign at Scunthorpe, the Minstermen entertain Bury this afternoon and Newport on Saturday with Penn hoping the team can maintain the same level of performance that has led to just one defeat - against Chesterfield - in their last 15 league contests at home.
Ahead of today's match, Penn added: "Hopefully, there will be a big crowd. It's a big game and a tough one because Bury have just started to hit good form but they won't want to come to our patch and we have just got to make it a fortress, as we have been doing."
Ex-Kidderminster and Cheltenham battler Penn has also praised the contributions of March additions Calvin Andrew and Ryan Brobbel during recent matches, with the pair having helped City extend their unbeaten run to 13 matches despite the losses of top scorer Wes Fletcher and Northern Ireland international Josh Carson.
"At the end of the day, we have lost our main striker but we have regrouped, brought a couple of lads in and everybody is just doing a shift for the team," Penn pointed out. "The goals aren't coming as freely as we would like but we are winning games and that's the main thing at this stage of the season."
Friday's 1-0 win at play-off rivals Oxford has put City in the driving seat as the fight for top-seven places intensifies with three fixtures left to play and Penn admitted that it was a bonus to triumph at the Kassam Stadium, where avoiding defeat had been the first priority.
On that performance, Penn said: "We were a bit scrappy in the first half but we kept our shape and discipline. In the second half, we came out of the traps a bit better and I thought they were sitting back and looking for a draw but we took the game to them, got the goal and, naturally, we then dropped off a bit but we thoroughly deserved the three points.
"Our main target going there was not to be beaten to keep things going, but we bettered that, so it was a bonus to get the win."
Penn, meanwhile, had no doubts concerning the crucial spot kick that was awarded after Dave Kitson handled as the City captain attempted to help on Will Hayhurst's corner to the near post.
"Even a couple of their players said it was a penalty," the Dudley-born midfielder revealed. "They moaned at first just to try and get the ref to change his mind but I flicked it on and his arm was raised so it was a definite penalty and the linesman gave it because he had the best view.
"We have had so many penalties since I have been here and we have only missed one out of 12 all season. I think Couls (Michael Coulson) showed great nerve to step up to the plate again and he deserved his goal because he played superbly up top with Calvin (Andrew)."
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