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Gary Mills: I want York City to go all way in Capital One Cup
YORK City manager Gary Mills is targeting another trip to Wembley this season – in the Capital One Cup!
Mills’ Minstermen kick off their 2012/13 campaign tomorrow in the competition, formerly known as the Carling Cup, with a first round trip to League One outfit Doncaster Rovers.
The City chief is confident of progress at the Keepmoat Stadium and, having masterminded two victories at the national stadium last term in the Blue Square Bet Premier and FA Trophy finals, is keen for a return and is, typically, putting no ceiling on what his players can achieve in a tournament that will see Premier League clubs enter at the next stage.
Mills played in the semi-finals of the cup for Nottingham Forest before being overlooked for the final but he has not yet given up on the hope of participating in the Wembley showpiece as a manager.
He said: “It’s one of those competitions that, with the luck of the draw, you can get a big boy by reaching the second round, which is great for finances but I want to go all the way. People say that’s not going to happen but funny things do happen in football and we have to go as far as we can.
“People say going to Doncaster is a tough draw but we will go there confident because of the way we play and how positive we are and I think we can upset them.
“We’ve had a shorter pre-season and it seems like we haven’t really had a break but that could be a good thing because it will keep the momentum going from last season. Everybody is excited and positive and ready to do the business, so bring on Doncaster!”
Striker Jamie Reed will have a scan today on the hamstring injury he suffered in City’s final pre-season friendly at Sunderland but the early signs are that he could become a long-term injury casualty.
But Matty Blair has recovered from his thigh injury and Mills will now decide whether to risk him at Doncaster.
The City boss added: “Reedy’s in a lot of pain and it’s not looking good, which is a bit of a blow for us.
“I’ve had plenty of hamstring problems and they’re what finished me off as a player in the end so I know how troublesome they can be.
“But Matty Blair had the biggest smile on his face that I’ve seen for a long time when the physio told him he could join us for training. He’s ahead of schedule and it’s nice to have him back.”
Despite Reed’s injury leaving Mills with just Jason Walker and the transfer-listed Liam Henderson as recognised centre-forwards in his squad, the City manager has also insisted he will not panic and dive into the transfer market for a new striker.
He said: “We’ve already brought a few players in over the summer and I am hoping we can get a result at Doncaster and play well, then do the same against Wycombe in the league seven days later.
“At this moment, I feel confident but, if that changes and performances are not as good as I’d expect them to be, we might look at things.
“People say we need a main striker but Jason Walker played exceptionally well against Sunderland. If somebody came along that I feel could improve us then I’d consider it but I won’t do anything for the sake of it.
“Ashley Chambers , Matty Blair and Oli Johnson can all play through the middle. Oli did that at Leicester in pre-season and did particularly well there.
“I won’t spend money because everybody thinks I should and I think people should be concentrating on the good players we’ve got going into the new season.”
One of the most keenly contested battles for selection at Keepmoat is in the full-back areas where Dan Parslow and Jon Challinor are challenging for a role on the right, while Jamal Fyfield and Danny Blanchett are up against each other for the left-sided berth.
Parslow and Fyfield both enhanced their chances of a starting place with strong displays against Sunderland in midweek with Mills adding: “Jamal has done particularly well in the last couple of games and picked up his performances. With Lanre being out and unavailable, we’ve also had a look at Pars at right-back and I thought he was excellent in terms of defending and going forward.”
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