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York City boss has his eyes firmly on prize ahead of play-off final at Wembley
GARY MILLS believes York City’s FA Trophy final victory has helped ease the pressure on his players ahead of Sunday’s play-off final clash against Luton Town.
The Minstermen manager and his squad enjoyed the celebrations following their 2-0 triumph over Newport County under the arch last weekend – culminating in a low-key civic reception hosted by the Lord Mayor of York, Coun David Horton, at the city’s Mansion House on Tuesday.
Far from feeling any revelling was a distraction as the squad build up to their biggest game of the year in the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final, Mills reckons the situation has been a big plus.
“In one way, it has been good because it has taken our minds off it, he said. “It takes the added pressure off the players knowing how important the game is. What better way to do that than with a Trophy final, winning it, celebrating it and enjoying the moment.
“That has been a plus going into a very important few days for us.”
But neither Mills nor his players have taken their eyes off the prize that comes with beating the Hatters.
He added: “We know where we go if we win. It puts a lot of things to bed, a lot of things that have gone on over the years at York City Football Club. They are going to be gone. We know what it means. We know what it is going to take.
“It is going to take a good performance from us, being at our best, playing as we can.
“Every game we have played against Luton we have had to be at our best because we know they are a strong side. We have proved that our best has been good enough. Why not do our best again and go and beat them again on Sunday?
“They have got a point to prove because they haven’t beaten us. They have got that added pressure of trying to do that. I think they will probably be hurt that when they have played York City we have done very well against them.
“I’ve got to make sure that doesn’t change on Sunday.
“People keep throwing the crowd at me – that they have sold 25,000 and we have only sold five or 6,000 and I’ve said it’s going to be like going away to Luton. That’s how it has been. You go to a ground there where, if you are not strong, you are going to get turned over.
“We’ve been strong, we have had the belief in ourselves.
“We have stuck together as a club, as a team, so we have got nothing to be afraid of.
“If we are just afraid of ourselves enough to not go and express ourselves then that is going to be our downfall.
“There’s nothing to be afraid of with Luton and their crowd. It makes for a good occasion.”
City had sold 6,400 tickets last night for Sunday’s Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final against Luton Town.
The Hatters, meanwhile, are expected to offload all of their 29,000 allocation as both teams look to regain their Football League status at the world-famous home of English football.
To book tickets, visit www.seetickets.com/york or phone 0844 995 9661.
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