YORK City manager Gary Mills is looking forward to a “testing” time as the team usher in 2013.
Following this afternoon’s home game with a struggling Bristol Rovers team desperate for points, the Minstermen will play host to clear League Two leaders Gillingham next weekend.
Trips to a Chesterfield side that have won their last four League matches and pre-season promotion favourites Fleetwood then follow in the space of four days before New Year’s Day sees Mills’ players entertain Burton, who have already beaten City 3-1 this term.
Looking slightly further ahead during January, the Bootham Crescent outfit will also travel to third-placed Cheltenham and Gillingham for their return match with the title hopefuls but Mills is still relishing the challenge of improving his team’s current standing of 15th.
He said: “It’s always said that Christmas is an important period and it will be a testing one for us.
“We’ve got Bristol Rovers coming here today in the bottom two and everybody will be expecting us to turn them over but I’m not naive enough to think that will just happen.
“Then we’ve got Gillingham at home, whose record this season speaks for itself. On Boxing Day, we go to Chesterfield, who have been the form team since Paul Cook took over, and then we’re at Fleetwood, who are on the play-off fringes, as are Burton, who we play on New Year’s Day.
“It’s a challenge but one that we have to come through with flying colours to get through the New Year to see where we will be heading. I want to see us heading up the table and getting as high as we can but I’m still enjoying every second of this season.
“We knew it would be tougher than last season and we are finding that out every week but I will enjoy pitting my wits against these good sides to prove what we are capable of.”
Mills is also keen to improve a home record that has reaped just two wins from the last 13 Bootham Crescent contests, starting with this afternoon’s clash against the Pirates.
He said: “I’m looking forward to the game. We can’t get to that stage where we have people hiding at home and saying they prefer to play away and have got to start winning more games in front of our supporters.”