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Promotion would be simply the best for York City manager Gary Mills
STEERING York City into the Football League means “everything” to manager Gary Mills, but the Minstermen chief says tomorrow’s Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final at Wembley must be approached as just another game.
“It’s why I am in the game – the beautiful game that I love and adore,” said European Cup winner Mills when asked what victory over Luton Town, and promotion to League Two, would represent to him.
“It’s my life. It is why I am in this job. It’s a fantastic football club with fantastic people in a fantastic city and they deserve to be in the Football League.
“It will certainly be the proudest moment of my footballing career – including my playing career (he was the youngest winner of the European Cup as a player with Nottingham Forest in 1980) – to get this football club into the Football League. Without doubt.
“You can’t put into words, you can’t underestimate the hard work that is put in – mentally and physically – to go and achieve what would be promotion.
“I know what it means to this football club, going from non-league into the Football League. You just have to say that, from non-league into a Football League side again. It is a great opportunity and one that I want to take as a manager.
“I know that it would mean the absolute world to everyone connected with this football club.
“I have got to approach it, and people will ask what I am talking about, but it is just another game. It’s a game of football.”
Mills said the togetherness of the squad, and the big matches they had already come through successfully this season, would only give them confidence ahead of tomorrow’s match against the Hatters. And he has backed his men to come out on top again.
“It is all the hard work we have put in, all the effort, all the off-the-field stuff that people don’t see,” Mills added.
“It’s the spirit we have got. We have become a family together.
“We work for each other, we trust each other and we give each other everything we have got.
“To come down to the last game, knowing we have to do it again, is something we have got to do and something we will go and do.
“That togetherness is very important. That’s why we like to go down a couple of days before – no distractions. Everything we do is together, right to the very last whistle, and we continue to work as a team.
“We’ve pulled together and let’s not underestimate what that means when going to win a football match.”
And Mills is not expecting his players to be nervous, despite what the Wembley match means to the club both in terms of prestige and finance.
“We have had a lot of big games this season,” he explained.
“This is probably the biggest of the lot but we’ve had a lot of big games and, in those, I don’t believe nerves have played a part.
“Look how tough the games were against Mansfield, I didn’t see any nerves. I saw a lot of grit, desire and determination and spirit to win those games.
“The two-legged Trophy semi-final was the same against Luton. Not once have we looked nervous or afraid to go and play. We go and express ourselves.”