IT is a choice of two from three in the heart of the defence as York City boss Nigel Worthington looks to finalise his starting XI ahead of Saturday's League Two opener at Tranmere Rovers.

The former Northern Ireland boss must pick between Keith Lowe, John McCombe and Dave Winfield at Prenton Park to anchor the Minstermen back four.

Lowe and McCombe forged a tremendous partnership in the second half of last season - conceding just six goals in the club's final 19 matches.

But Winfield, a summer capture after being released from Shrewsbury, has performed strongly in pre-season and is pushing hard for a starting berth.

Daniel Parslow, who turned out in a youth game on Tuesday, will also soon be knocking on the door for a first team place after returning from a cruciate ligament injury.

Worthington, though, feels he has similar decisions to make all over the pitch - pointing out a similar quandary up front as he considers the merits of Michael Coulson, Ryan Jarvis and Jake Hyde for his striking berths.

"These are decisions we have got to make," he said. "We've got a choice of two from three in the defence but there is also the question of which strikers to play.

"That's all part of the job - to make decisions. But everyone has been very good. If you look at the two full-backs, they have come in and been a breath of fresh air. They like the football club and like the area.

"Jason Mooney has done exceptionally well. It has all been excellent so far. The thing is that no more is it a team game - it is a squad game. In the first three weeks of the season, we have got seven games in 22 days which is a lot of football.

"We haven't got the biggest squad and it is important everyone is on their toes and are ready to go when we change things. I don't like having lots of players (around with little chance of first team football).

"It's a waste of the football club's budget. We would rather have a small group and work them that little bit more. They've all got chances of being in the team and, if we have to get someone in during the season, we can look at the loan market. That's the right way to do it for a club of our size."

Worthington confirmed midfielder Luke Summerfield had returned to full training as planned and had not suffered any setbacks after recovering from a knee injury, while Wes Fletcher also resumed training on Monday.

"Hopefully he can build on that over the next two to three weeks," the City boss added.

"Jake Hyde also trained and Femi Ilesanmi is all right. Daniel Parslow has had 70 minutes of football, which is good, but he needs more. He will be in the 18."

Parslow looked like he had never been away during a 30 minute cameo at right-back in the 2-0 win over Sheffield United and Worthington said: "That comes down to his attitude.

"He is an exceptional professional and if he is told to do something by the physios he will do it to the smallest detail. That's why he has come back. He has worked very hard, stepped back into it and he looked very good."