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Patrick McLaughlin winning fitness battle as York City host leaders Gillingham
PATRICK McLAUGHLIN should be fit for York City’s game with npower League Two leaders Gillingham tomorrow – but manager Gary Mills says forward Ashley Chambers is “very doubtful”.
Northern Ireland Under-21 international McLaughlin was stretchered off during the Minstermen’s 4-1 demolition of Bristol Rovers last weekend and was later taken to York Hospital with a bruised lung and kidney.
Mills said he should be “okay” for the visit of the Gills to Bootham Crescent tomorrow, but was more concerned about two-goal Chambers, who was substituted after 65 minutes last Saturday to avoid aggravating what was initially believed to be a minor groin niggle.
“He hasn’t trained all week but he should be okay,” Mills said of McLaughlin.
“Fingers crossed he will be okay for tomorrow.
“That (game against Bristol Rovers) was the best he has been for us and we addressed a couple of issues with him on his overall game and I think winning a few more second balls was obviously in his mind hence he got the injury.
“He was totally committed to winning that ball. Hopefully, he is going to be okay and can get back to that form again.
“Chris Doig is also fine and trained yesterday.
“Our major doubt is Ashley Chambers with his groin. He’s the one at this moment in time that looks very doubtful.”Tom Allan made his full debut as a second-half replacement for Doig but Mills said that did not mean David McGurk, pictured, yet to appear from the bench since recovering from a host of injuries that affected him for a year, would be farmed out on loan come January.
He added: “I think Tom has come on superbly well.
“Doig was struggling with his ankle and it made sense to me, being 4-1 up and with it being left sided, that it was time to give Tom a go. I’ve got to do that.
“If Doig wasn’t fit I would have a decision to make on whether to play McGurk or Allan. But Tom is a good player.
“It was a great opportunity for him to go and get some experience. I am positive about Tom. I think he is going to be an excellent player.
“We have to bring him along in the right way but I have to be brave enough to play him when need be.”
With Gillingham five points clear at the top of League Two, and having suffered just one defeat on the road all season. Mills knows his side will be up against it. But he insists they have the talent to damage their high-flying opponents.
“The table is saying they are very good at the moment,” Mills said of manager Martin Allen’s men. “They have been sitting at the top virtually the whole of the season – they’re five points clear at the top – and doing really well.
“They are a difficult side to beat – a strong side and they have long throws, free-kicks and balls into the box.
“You have to be very disciplined to play against teams like that. It has worked for them but, again, we know what we are capable of and we can go and beat them, I have no doubt about that.”