JAMES Berrett reckons York City can once more rise to the occasion under the Bootham Crescent floodlights for the visit of runaway table-toppers Northampton.
The Minstermen have knocked out higher-league opponents Bradford and Doncaster in midweek cup ties at home this term.
Yeovil and Exeter have also been seen off in Tuesday night home contests and City have only lost once - against Oxford in September - from six such matches during 2015/16.
Berrett, himself, has scored two of his five goals this season during midweek Bootham clashes and, although a dead leg is likely to rule him out this evening, the 27-year-old midfielder said: “I really enjoy playing night games at Bootham Crescent.
“It just feels that bit more special. We’ve put some good performances in midweek at home and, hopefully, we can keep that going.
“They’re a good team, but we will be confident because we’re playing our best stuff at home and have picked up some good results there. It was fine margins when we played at their place and lost 2-0.
“We could have had a goal in the first ten minutes. We had a couple of chances, but they took theirs and that’s why they’re top.
“If we can get an early goal or put them under pressure, though, I think we have every chance.”
Despite a record of four victories from the last five home matches offering a stark contrast to the current win-less run of 15 away games, though, Berrett insists taking maximum points on the road is not becoming a psychological problem for the Minstermen.
Berrett played in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Cambridge, but argued: “I wouldn’t say that when we go away, we’re not expecting to pick up points, because every game is winnable.”
With City having conceded 11 times in their previous ten matches, Berrett also feels that the poorly-conceded goals at the Abbey Stadium will prove a “blip”.
He admitted partial culpability for the first and added that the second, from a corner, was particularly uncharacteristic for the team.
“We’ve been very much improved defensively and excellent during the last few weeks, so I would put Cambridge down to a blip,” Berrett reasoned. “I should have stopped the cross for the first goal and, then, we have to deal with it better in the box, so we need to analyse things like that to see where we can improve.
“For the second, we have dealt with corners well in general. Notts County had 18 against us and didn’t score, but the swirling wind didn’t help at Cambridge either.”
Berrett’s spectacular 25-yard goal, which saw the visitors reduce the deficit to 2-1, proved the Minstermen’s only consolation against Cambridge with the former Republic of Ireland under-21 international ranking it among the highest of his 35 professional goals.
“It’s definitely up there as one of the best I’ve scored,” he revealed. “I hit one like that for Carlisle a few years ago, so I’ve done it before, but it was nice to see it go in.
“I was hoping we would respond better after my goal. That never really happened, but there are lots of games coming up and plenty of points to play for.”
Berrett twice hit double figures in separate seasons for Carlisle, but the Halifax-born midfielder is setting no individual targets for the current campaign.
“I just want to create and score as many goals as I can,” he said. “I try not to think of numbers too much, but that’s five now and I’ll try and chip in with a few more before the end of the season.”
With former Hull City under-21s skipper Matty Dixon waiting in the wings, though, Berrett is not taking his first XI place for granted.
“We have strength in depth and there’s somebody who can fill your space in every position,” he explained. “You can’t go through the motions and must give your all in every game to prove you should be in the team.”
Known primarily as a central midfielder, Berrett operated on the right in a 4-4-2 formation initially at the weekend and, on that role, he said: “I’m just happy when I’m playing.
“I’d say it’s not a position I’m most comfortable in, but there are times when you seem to get a bit more ball and more time on it, which is pleasing. I just try and create things and make things happen when I’m out there.”