Ascent into league fires City’s ‘Donaldo’

York City's back-to-form hit-man Clayton Donaldson

York City's back-to-form hit-man Clayton Donaldson

Published in Sport York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

TOP scorer Clayton Donaldson has insisted he remains fully committed on taking York City back into the Football League.

Speculation concerning Donaldson's commitment to the Minstermen inevitably grew after the 23-year-old striker signed a pre-contract agreement to join Hibernian in the summer during the January transfer window.

But the former Hull City forward has revealed that he is so focussed on helping City secure a play-off spot with a point at home to Oxford on Saturday that he was not even aware that Hibs were meeting Dunfermline in a Scottish Cup semi-final replay last night.

He said: "I want to leave here with fond memories and, if I put York City into the league, I can say my job is done because I will have contributed to getting the club back there and, if that happens, I can honestly say I will have worked my socks off for the club.

"I'm not thinking about Hibernian yet. I didn't even know they were in the semi-finals of the Cup until some of the lads told me.

"I've caught the odd glimpse when they've been on Sky and I watched the CIS Cup final but I've not had time to go up and see them play. I'm just concentrating on doing my job for York City until the end of my contract."

Donaldson has netted 26 goals for City this season but 20 were scored before the Hibs deal was struck three months ago.

But the non-League England international denies the slowing up in his strike rate is related and offers up another reason.

He said: "People will obviously look at Hibs and say I've not tried as hard but I don't think that's the case.

"I think the main thing that affected me was when I got sent off against Kidderminster in January.

"I was on a good run but then I missed three games. It was the first red card of my career and I didn't know how to handle it.

"I wasn't fully match-fit when I came back and I also felt lucky when I was scoring but, when you lose that rub of the green, it's hard to find it again."

The confidence game was also a key factor as the striker reminded his critics.

"My confidence is higher when I'm scoring and I didn't believe in my ability as much but I got the hat-trick at Cambridge and now I feel like I'm getting back to the form that I started off with," declared Donaldson.

"But as long as the team is doing well, then I'm happy even if I'm not scoring.

"We've still been progressing towards the play-offs and that's all that matters."

Despite Oxford already being certain of a play-off place and second position in the Conference table, Donaldson is not expecting an easy ride on Saturday.

He said: "It will be interesting to see what frame of mind they are in and perhaps the manager will rest a few players. That would probably be a wise thing to do after a long, hard season.

"I wish we were in that situation but whatever team he brings will be out to impress as any reserves will be fighting for a place in the play-off team.

"It will be a difficult game and I would not recommend anybody missing it because it's going to be a great atmosphere and a great match."

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