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York City's Paddy McLaughlin faces battle to tackle leaders Gillingham
PLAYMAKER Paddy McLaughlin is fighting a crunch pursuit for York City’s visit of npower League Two leaders Gillingham.
The Northern Ireland Under-21 international suffered a nasty injury and was stretchered off in City’s 4-1 thumping of Bristol Rovers, which has ramped up the excitement for the duel against the table-toppers in four days.
Manager Gary Mills revealed that after being taken off the field following a hefty collision with Rovers’ defender Danny Woodard, the midfielder was subsequently taken to York Hospital’s accident and emergency department after he started passing blood.
McLaughlin was diagnosed with a bruised lung and kidney and it won’t be until the last minute of this week that he discovers his chances of retaining his place at the heart of City’s team against the high-flying Gills.Said Mills: “Paddy suffered quite an impact. The challenge was right in front of our position in the dug-out. He had to go for the ball and he really went for it.
“He is going to be okay but with the bruising where it is, it’s going to take time to sort out.
“We won’t know until the back end of this week whether or not he will have any chance to play against Gillingham.”
The City boss added the timing of the blow for McLaughlin could not have been more inopportune after his starring role in the first half against the lowly Pirates.
“It was the best Paddy had played for a long while and he and the rest of us were so disappointed that his contribution ended in that way,” added Mills.
“Not only had he set up two of the goals with his passing, which is what he is so good at, but he was getting into that side of his game of winning the second balls which he’s needed to work on.”
The City chief was more optimistic of both defender Chris Doig (ankle) and Ashley Chambers (groin), who were also substituted against Bristol Rovers, recovering in time for the showdown against Gillingham.
He agreed the victory over Rovers had stoked up the anticipation of the clash on the last weekend before Christmas.
“Our home results have not been what we would have liked, but we have now got a great win for the club and the supporters,” said Mills. “We are now starting the festive period and I hope we can continue that sort of form.”