YORK City are being challenged to bounce back from their poorest away display of 2012 as they end the calendar year with trips to League Two big-hitters Chesterfield and Fleetwood.
The Minstermen suffered a 2-0 defeat at Plymouth during their last match on the road – representing only the third time the team have lost on their League travels during the current year.
City boss Gary Mills, however, believes his team played well enough to get a result in the other two losses at Newport (2-1) and Burton (3-1) and does not expect a repeat performance of the standards witnessed at Home Park when his team line up at Chesterfield this afternoon.
Mills’ side can break a club record of only five away League defeats in a calendar year should they only avoid losing one of their remaining two matches in 2012 and the Minstermen chief added: “Our last away performance was disappointing but I can honestly say that I’ve only been able to say that about an away match once all year.
“That game was one of our poorest displays – there’s no two ways about that – but we are a good team on the road and have done very well. Chesterfield and Fleetwood will be two massive tests for us but are places I know we are capable of getting results from.”
City visit Fleetwood on Saturday following today’s game and Mills decided to give his players Christmas Day off yesterday after contemplating whether to come in to work or not.
He said: “We trained on Christmas Eve and everybody was okay so we were off yesterday. I told the players to go for a little jog after Christmas lunch and they will be ready for the game.”
Since City drew 2-2 at home to Chesterfield in September, John Sheridan has been replaced as manager by Paul Cook.
The Minstermen won 1-0 at Cook’s previous club Accrington Stanley during the Spireites’ manager’s last game there, but Mills is expecting a tough challenge today, saying: “They’ve been on a high, as teams tend to be when they change manager.
“They won four out of five games before having a bad result in their last match when they lost 3-0 at Southend and they will be looking to put that right. They were – and still are – one of the favourites to get out of the division because they are a big club at the level we play.
“I’m expecting a tough game and they will be in our faces. They won’t sit off and allow us to play.”
Mills is also relishing the first Boxing Day fixture to be held at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium since its opening for the 2010/11 campaign with a big crowd anticipated.
He said: “It’s a nice, new stadium and not too far down the road for our own supporters. That should make for a good atmosphere and we are all looking forward to the game.”