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Match preview: York City v Rotherham United
TWEAKING “one or two things” can help York City surge up the League Two table reckons boss Gary Mills as he takes stock of his team’s performance after completing ten games of the campaign.
The Minstermen manager says he has taken a lot of positives from the opening spell of York’s return to the Football League ladder and, despite the oft repeated claim in some sectors that there is little difference between League and Conference football, Mills begs to differ.
“There are better players,” he said. “Every game in League Two you have to be at your best.
“I think in the Conference there are numerous sides in there where, if you are not at your best, you can still get away with a result.
“So there is a difference. There is no two ways about that. Teams are stronger, a lot stronger, fitter. I am a little bit disappointed we are sitting where we are because I want to be successful again.
“You can’t run before you can walk. It’s about, after ten games, taking stock of the teams we have played, and we have played some big sides in those first ten. We have got Rotherham tomorrow, then we have got Coventry (in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy) and then Bradford. Three big sides in the next three games.”
Mills continued: “We have to look at it and say, ‘Yes, we have had a mixed bag of results but there’s a lot of positives there’. I am enjoying being in League Two. We’d much rather be 14th as we speak in League Two than fourth in the Conference.
“We have to look at what has gone on in the last couple of years I have been here. We are half-way up League Two, which is fantastic, and we are looking to say, ‘There’s nothing to be afraid of here’.
“Maybe I need to tweak one or two things – nothing is perfect and I think every manager will be saying that. Maybe there are one or two players that we can get a little bit more out of.
“My main striker (Jason Walker) is finding his form again. Maybe it has taken eight games, because I feel the last three games he has got back to that, and I thought he was a handful again against Fleetwood (on Tuesday).
“Everything takes a bit of time. We have to be patient and I hope everyone is feeling like I am – that being where we are in League Two is a lot better than even being top of the Conference. We have moved on from that. We want to get our mindset for this league.
“Being the manager I am, I want to get out of this league this year and hopefully we can achieve that. If we don’t then we look at next season and I learn from this campaign to get it better next year.”
Rotherham United are making their first Football League visit since February 12, 2000, when they won a Third Division (League Two) encounter 2-1, with Leo Fortune-West, later to play for City, being one of their scorers.
In total, they have made 29 League trips, winning seven times and drawing seven.
City’s biggest win was in November 1948 when they chalked up a memorable 6-1 success in front of 19,216 with Alf Patrick scoring five goals.
Another big success was 5-0 in 1934/35 when Maurice Dando notched a hat-trick.
United’s biggest victory here was 3-0 in 1949/50.
Their last visit to Bootham Crescent was for a first round FA Cup replay on November 17, 2010, when City won 3-0 with goals from Michael Rankine (2) and Chris Smith.
The line-up was: Ingham, Parslow, McGurk, C Smith, Meredith, Sangare, J Smith (Mackin), Racchi, McDermott (Barrett), Carruthers (Fyfield), Rankine.
Over the years, several players have appeared for both clubs and these include Bobby Mimms, Andy Warrington, Ray Warburton, Paul Stancliffe, Peter Wragg, Nigel Pepper, Terry Farmer and Tommy Spencer, with Tom Johnston and Billy McEwan providing the managerial links.
It is the first time that City have entertained Yorkshire opposition in League football since April 2008, when Farsley Celtic were the visitors.
It happened on October 6
1956: A Bootham Crescent crowd of 10,763 saw City beat Hull City 2-1 in the Northern Section, with Norman Wilkinson and Billy Fenton the scorers.
1979: Terry Eccles, John Byrne and Bary Wellings netted in a 3-2 home victory over Rochdale in the Fourth Division in front of 2,462.
2000: Mansfield Town were beaten 2-1 in the Third Division (League One) thanks to goals from David McNiven and Alex Mathie watched by 2,681.
2006: A 1-0 home win in the Conference over Aldershot Town with Mark Convery on target.
2007: Histon won 4-1 at Bootham Crescent and City were in the lower reaches of the Blue Square Premier. Nicky Wroe scored the consolation goal and the attendance was 2,199.
Compiled by David Batters