York City squad’s versatility is a positive for manager Gary Mills

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

YORK City’s run of seven games without a win has nothing to do with playing people out of position, according to manager Gary Mills.

Mills has tried several different midfield permutations this season with Dan Parslow, Lanre Oyebanjo and Matty Blair starting in the engine room during last weekend’s 2-0 home defeat to Torquay.

Those three players have spent the majority of their career playing at centre-half, right-back and on the wing respectively.

Mills, though, added that last season’s 20-goal top scorer Blair actually now prefers to start in the role he occupied against the Gulls and that Parslow, who has flitted between a midfield berth and right-back this season, no longer pigeon-holes himself as a defender.

City won last season’s Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final against Luton at Wembley playing two recognised full-backs Oyebanjo and James Meredith in midfield alongside Parslow and Mills believes his players’ versatility continues to be of great assistance in his efforts to win games.

Ahead of this afternoon’s npower League Two clash at Rochdale, the Minstermen chief said: “People start to look too deeply for reasons and excuses as to why we’re not winning games.

“I like players who can play in different positions and don’t like those who can only operate in one role.

“If you ask Dan Parslow what his position is, he probably won’t say centre-half because his game has moved on.

“He can play in two other positions now and, if you ask Matty Blair where he would rather play, he would say in the middle of the park because he gives us a lot there and gets involved.

“People criticise me and I will take that on the chin but it won’t stop me picking players in positions I feel will make us as strong as possible.”

Comments (12)

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12:30pm Sat 1 Dec 12

PhilTopping says...

Really?

Blair is not a midfield player. Sometimes people need to accept the inevitable, admit mistakes and move on.
Really? Blair is not a midfield player. Sometimes people need to accept the inevitable, admit mistakes and move on. PhilTopping
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Sat 1 Dec 12

redbluelion says...

well if thats not the case then what is mr mills..maybe its the fact we just aint good enough ..or your not doing your job.get it sorted i have heard enough crap in the paper now.we all know the real reason..and its to do with the formation we play in home games.
well if thats not the case then what is mr mills..maybe its the fact we just aint good enough ..or your not doing your job.get it sorted i have heard enough crap in the paper now.we all know the real reason..and its to do with the formation we play in home games. redbluelion
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Sat 1 Dec 12

duffy says...

Sorry Mr Mills but Blair and Parslow are NOT midfield players and never will be at this level. You only had to watch both players in the first half last Saturday to see they were like ducks out of water. Parslow in particular does not have the creative ability to give us something going forward in games. Not his fault by the way, he is simply been asked to to a job not suited to him. Blair offers something at times but why try and change a dedicated wide man ?
Sorry Mr Mills but Blair and Parslow are NOT midfield players and never will be at this level. You only had to watch both players in the first half last Saturday to see they were like ducks out of water. Parslow in particular does not have the creative ability to give us something going forward in games. Not his fault by the way, he is simply been asked to to a job not suited to him. Blair offers something at times but why try and change a dedicated wide man ? duffy
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Sat 1 Dec 12

openallhours says...

Mills certainly divides opinion when it comes to team selection/tactics! You have to respect the fact that he stands by his decisions and although I've been critical of Mills, I think that December will be a massive month for him and the team.

If he's as confident as he makes out, we should be fine, and I for one wish them all the best for the coming weeks.
Mills certainly divides opinion when it comes to team selection/tactics! You have to respect the fact that he stands by his decisions and although I've been critical of Mills, I think that December will be a massive month for him and the team. If he's as confident as he makes out, we should be fine, and I for one wish them all the best for the coming weeks. openallhours
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Sat 1 Dec 12

SaysItHowItIs says...

What a load of Sh#te, blair scored 20 goals on wing last season if something doesn't need fixing then dont fix it, leave him where he scores goals, and get Banjo in right back where he belongs, and Paddy where he belongs, I have encouraged a lot of people I know to come along as new fans including season tickets and I am sick of poor excuses. And stop tryring to walk the ball in for christs sake, take some long range shots like all the other teams that are beating us and doing better. I have never seen a team wave thier arms about at each other as much as ours, no fluency or communication.
What a load of Sh#te, blair scored 20 goals on wing last season if something doesn't need fixing then dont fix it, leave him where he scores goals, and get Banjo in right back where he belongs, and Paddy where he belongs, I have encouraged a lot of people I know to come along as new fans including season tickets and I am sick of poor excuses. And stop tryring to walk the ball in for christs sake, take some long range shots like all the other teams that are beating us and doing better. I have never seen a team wave thier arms about at each other as much as ours, no fluency or communication. SaysItHowItIs
  • Score: 0

2:17pm Sat 1 Dec 12

ycfcfooker says...

Must be the most pig headed man about
Must be the most pig headed man about ycfcfooker
  • Score: 0

2:31pm Sat 1 Dec 12

centre midfield says...

So 7 outfield defenders again today then.
Lets just hope we win.
If I was Paddy I would be looking to get away in January. Glad I'm not going today although I really wish I was.
So 7 outfield defenders again today then. Lets just hope we win. If I was Paddy I would be looking to get away in January. Glad I'm not going today although I really wish I was. centre midfield
  • Score: 0

3:52pm Sat 1 Dec 12

YoRkIe59 says...

well my goodness its a funny old game eh.sat here in the philippines following the game tho sadly not even on the radio these days.3 nil up not even half time yet and two goals from the out of the cold pottsy marvelous.keep it up city i really need this and the team certainly does,c,mon York.
well my goodness its a funny old game eh.sat here in the philippines following the game tho sadly not even on the radio these days.3 nil up not even half time yet and two goals from the out of the cold pottsy marvelous.keep it up city i really need this and the team certainly does,c,mon York. YoRkIe59
  • Score: 0

5:20pm Sat 1 Dec 12

skilly says...

centre midfield wrote:
So 7 outfield defenders again today then.
Lets just hope we win.
If I was Paddy I would be looking to get away in January. Glad I'm not going today although I really wish I was.
Eating your words now eh?
[quote][p][bold]centre midfield[/bold] wrote: So 7 outfield defenders again today then. Lets just hope we win. If I was Paddy I would be looking to get away in January. Glad I'm not going today although I really wish I was.[/p][/quote]Eating your words now eh? skilly
  • Score: 0

9:12am Mon 3 Dec 12

long distance depressive says...

PhilTopping wrote:
Really?

Blair is not a midfield player. Sometimes people need to accept the inevitable, admit mistakes and move on.
If Blair has it drummed into him that he's an ace central midfielder by the manager then he may well start to believe it, evidence actually suggests the opposite. Not a tackler, few goals and less chance to use his main asset of burning pace. C'mon Mr Mills just admit it please. Paddy is better in all respects in that role.
[quote][p][bold]PhilTopping[/bold] wrote: Really? Blair is not a midfield player. Sometimes people need to accept the inevitable, admit mistakes and move on.[/p][/quote]If Blair has it drummed into him that he's an ace central midfielder by the manager then he may well start to believe it, evidence actually suggests the opposite. Not a tackler, few goals and less chance to use his main asset of burning pace. C'mon Mr Mills just admit it please. Paddy is better in all respects in that role. long distance depressive
  • Score: 0

11:19am Mon 3 Dec 12

RooBeck says...

The pace of Matty Blair coming in from either wing, unsettles defenders and he needs continuing development in this role, rather than as a central midfielder! He and Ashley Chambers have the pace and ability to put defences on the back-foot and frighten them! This pacy style does however require us to get plenty of bodies into the 6/12 yard areas and with our current squad, that seems to be missing, even though Jamie Reed and Jason Walker do have their moments in front of goal! BUT, on Saturay's performance, the midfield of Potts, Kerr and MacLaughlin linked-up the play very well and I would continue with them and perhaps, supplement with the return of either J.Smith or Lee Bullock. The squad strengthening, needs to be aimed at a consistent finisher/centralatta
cker and perhaps another central defender in the Clarke Carlisle mould,(though with a bit more pace and a little better distribution on the ground), even though C.Smith and Chris Doig had good games at Rochdale! Whether or not Dave McGurk could fit that bill who knows, but with those additions and keeping players in their preferred positions, then, we could well be set for another promotion push, via the play-offs! COYR.
The pace of Matty Blair coming in from either wing, unsettles defenders and he needs continuing development in this role, rather than as a central midfielder! He and Ashley Chambers have the pace and ability to put defences on the back-foot and frighten them! This pacy style does however require us to get plenty of bodies into the 6/12 yard areas and with our current squad, that seems to be missing, even though Jamie Reed and Jason Walker do have their moments in front of goal! BUT, on Saturay's performance, the midfield of Potts, Kerr and MacLaughlin linked-up the play very well and I would continue with them and perhaps, supplement with the return of either J.Smith or Lee Bullock. The squad strengthening, needs to be aimed at a consistent finisher/centralatta cker and perhaps another central defender in the Clarke Carlisle mould,(though with a bit more pace and a little better distribution on the ground), even though C.Smith and Chris Doig had good games at Rochdale! Whether or not Dave McGurk could fit that bill who knows, but with those additions and keeping players in their preferred positions, then, we could well be set for another promotion push, via the play-offs! COYR. RooBeck
  • Score: 0

11:59am Mon 3 Dec 12

YorkCityLuke says...

Have to agree with Mills to be honest, not in every one of his re-positionings (I also think Blair is much better on the wing), but in many of them. Parslow is an excellent holding midfielder, right back or center-back - what an asset for a relatively small club to have a player that can easily 'fill in' for 3 positions! Banjo and Challinor can both play equally well at right back or in midfield, as can Fyfield on the left. The team is strengthened by having players who can cover each other in many different positions.
Have to agree with Mills to be honest, not in every one of his re-positionings (I also think Blair is much better on the wing), but in many of them. Parslow is an excellent holding midfielder, right back or center-back - what an asset for a relatively small club to have a player that can easily 'fill in' for 3 positions! Banjo and Challinor can both play equally well at right back or in midfield, as can Fyfield on the left. The team is strengthened by having players who can cover each other in many different positions. YorkCityLuke
  • Score: 0

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