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York City boss lays down top seven challenge for Minstermen
YORK City manager Gary Mills wants his side to be lying in a League Two play-off position by the end of tomorrow’s home match with Chesterfield.
The Minstermen are currently being kept out of the top seven on goal difference but know three points against the Spireites will change that.
With six of the teams above ninth-placed City all playing each other this weekend a victory guarantees that Mills’ team will surge up the standings.
Oxford host Exeter, Port Vale entertain Rotherham while Morecambe are at home to Fleetwood and, even though only five games will have been played after the latest round of fixtures, Mills is keen for his side to take their place among the early pacesetters.
He said: “It might be early days but getting in that top seven is an option tomorrow and, for me, the quicker we do that the better.
“We have given ourselves that chance with our results in the last three games and, now, against a good side, we have got to show that we are capable of getting in those play-off positions.
“I believe we can and believe we will. The mindset cannot be that we are here to make up the numbers, survive or see what happens this season.
“We have to be positive and I want us to be successful and meet the next challenge. Before we kicked a ball against Oxford, we had a massively challenging week ahead of us but we have won two tough games against them and Rotherham and now we’ve got to win a third one.”
Three-goal joint top scorer Ashley Chambers is fit again after recovering from the calf problem that saw him miss Tuesday night’s 1-0 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy victory at Rotherham. But, with his replacement Matty Blair netting the only goal in that tie, Mills admitted he is facing a positive selection dilemma.
He said: “The players are doing well. They are full of confidence and belief and they all want to play.
“It’s fantastic that I have to make decisions for all the right reasons.”
One change will be forced on the City chief, however, with midfielder Paddy McLaughlin away with Northern Ireland on under-21 international duty.
John McReady, Lee Bullock, Jon Challinor and the transfer-listed Michael Potts are among the contenders to step in with Mills adding: “There are a few I can put in there but I know who will be starting and everybody will see who I’ve decided on tomorrow.”
Striker Jamie Reed has also suffered no reaction after three days of training following his hamstring injury but is unlikely to feature against Chesterfield.
Should City win tomorrow, the team will have enjoyed four successive victories for the first time since November 2010 when Mills was in his second month at the Bootham Crescent helm.
On the possibility of emulating that feat so soon after the club’s promotion back to the Football League, the City manager said: “We’ve not had many weeks yet but, as each one has passed, I think we have grown in strength.
“I feel we have that same belief in the changing rooms and around the football club that we had last season that we can beat anybody.
“Clarke Carlisle and Charlie Taylor have come in for the last two games and done superbly well because, other than an own goal, we have not conceded with them in the back four.”