YORK City boss Gary Mills is looking for his team to pass a mental test during tomorrow night’s home match with Gainsborough Trinity.

The Minstermen are seeking a third consecutive win, but Mills does not want anybody taking the Lincolnshire part-timers lightly despite the visitors having lost five of their last seven matches, including a 4-1 defeat at Alfreton on Saturday.

After National League North contests against well-supported quartet Darlington, Stockport, FC United of Manchester and Telford at Bootham Crescent, Mills also knows a meeting with a club that boasts the league’s fifth-lowest average attendance of 587, on the night when the Champions’ League group stages kick off, might not have the same sense of occasion for anybody but the away team.

“I’m not worried about the players’ ability, but we have to make sure we’re mentally right for every challenge that is put in front of us,” Mills explained. “On the back of two wins, we will have a different mentality to that we had after back-to-back defeats, but we can’t get complacent.

“The hardest thing to do in football is to keep winning matches and, if we’re looking at Gainsborough losing 4-0 on Saturday and thinking about that, it’s dangerous. You can never take your foot off the pedal and, whilst I expect us to win and we should win because I have the players to do that, Gainsborough will come here wanting to say they’ve won at York City, like FC United Manchester and Telford did.

“Teams get a lift coming here and that’s why you get shocks in the FA Cup. All the players at this level have the ability – it just comes down to having the mental strength to perform to the best of your standards every game.

“Gainsborough will come here and treat the game as a cup final and we will need to be at our highest level because, if we are, we will still beat them.”

On the expected drop in gate numbers, Mills added: “The crowds have been exceptional with the likes of Darlington, FC United and Stockport all bringing lots of fans. It’s been fantastic getting crowds of more than 3,000 at this level and I’m sure the chairman has been delighted.

“The gates have been bigger than they were in the division above, but Gainsborough won’t bring too many, so mentally it will also be a bit different kicking towards that end.”

Mills went on to reason that everybody with a Minstermen affinity should now be aware of what to expect in the sixth tier of the English game.

“We will have all learned after ten games - from the top of the club to the bottom - that this is a tough league now,” he said. “I knew that from my days managing at this level before and the two or three games I watched last season.

“But I went down with Tamworth and came straight back up and the league was no different then, so I know how to do it and want to do exactly the same this season.”

Mills has also set joint-top scorer Amari Morgan-Smith the challenge of upping his goal-per-chance ratio in coming contests, suggesting: “Amari could be on between 12 and 20 goals already, because he’s probably had more opportunities than anybody in the first ten games.

“I’m disappointed he’s only on three and he will be as well, because there are not too many strikers that will have had the chances he’s had so far.”

Goalkeeper Jon Worsnop, meanwhile, is expected to be available after dislocating his finger in Saturday’s 2-0 victory against Stockport.

But Mills is pondering whether to go against his normal policy and name a shot-stopper on his bench as a precautionary measure, while revealing that there is an outfield player nominated for net-minding duties if required unlike, back in 2011 when Chris Smith donned the gloves and conceded four goals in one half at Luton before Greg Young took over between the sticks.

“We didn’t know who would go in goal during that game at Luton, but we do now,” the City manager pointed out. “I’d like to see us have seven subs anyway, like the Football League, because then you wouldn’t have the decision to make and it would give you the chance to have everybody involved.

“Even with our small squad, you could bring some of the youth players into the set-up and that would help, because it’s tougher to bring them in without having that opportunity first.”