YORK CITY will be “pushing hard” for League Two promotion next season, declared centre-back John McCombe.
The 29-year-old, whose career has been revitalised at Bootham Crescent following his January move from Mansfield, said the squad were “gutted” at narrowly missing out on a trip to Wembley for the League Two play-off final but said he was already looking forward to next season.
Reflecting on the 0-0 draw at Fleetwood Town last Friday night, which saw the Minstermen go down by a single goal in their two-legged semi-final, McCombe said: “What we wanted to do was come to Fleetwood and do ourselves proud.
“Obviously we wanted to get through to the final and the lads are gutted but we know that, on Friday night, the performance we put in was outstanding and epitomised what we have done in the second half of the season.
“We went for it but, unfortunately, we couldn’t get the goal. We probably haven’t scored as many goals as we could in recent weeks. We are gutted but, in the next day or two, we will realise how well we played.
“I thought if we had got one we could have gone on and got two or three.”
Far from being totally despondent at the defeat, though, McCombe believes York’s surge into the play-offs in the second half of the season - with saw them lose just one game in 19 - can be a springboard to a successful campaign next time around.
He added: “It should do. Hopefully we will keep most of the group here now. Quite a lot of them are out of contract but, hopefully, we will keep a lot of the lads. We’ve still got a lot of young lads in there too who keep improving.
“The gaffer brought some more experienced players in like myself, (Keith) Lowe, and (Russell) Penn over Christmas and I think that has shown.
“The gaffer will probably get a couple of additions over the summer and we will be pushing hard again next season.”
Having played only seven times at Mansfield, following his summer move from Port Vale, before being rescued by City chief Nigel Worthington, McCombe said the last six months had been an “outstanding” time for him.
“When we reflect on the season as a whole, I think it is a big success for the club,” he explained. “Coming in January, I was at Mansfield and didn’t enjoy my time there.
“I owe the gaffer big time for bringing me here and I love playing out there. To be here, and enjoying my football like I have the last six months, has been outstanding.
“We are gutted (at the Fleetwood loss) but I have absolutely loved it, am glad to be at the club, and looking forward to next season already.”