Fuming McEwan seeks revenge for rival's jibe.

York City boss Billy McEwan will use the scathing words of Tamworth manager Mark Cooper to provoke a response from his team ahead of the Easter Monday clash at Accrington Stanley.

Cooper claimed to local reporters that last weekend's 1-0 defeat of the Minstermen at the Lamb Ground was his side's easiest victory of the season.

The words dented McEwan's fierce pride and he hopes his players will be just as hurt and have the character and ability to provide the correct riposte at Accrington.

He said: "The Tamworth manager pasted us in his post-match interview and our boys should be embarrassed by his comments. He said it was their easiest victory of the season and that hurt me hearing that said about my team.

"The players have got to ask themselves if he's right and if they have got any bottle and character they will show it against Accrington.

"Nobody ever said that about a team I was in as a player and they have got to be big and strong enough to do something about it.

"There will be a time and place for the players to hear the Tamworth manager's comments if they haven't read them - probably before going out on to the pitch against Accrington."

City are poised to welcome back top scorer Andy Bishop after he missed Saturday's trip to Tamworth, having suffered whiplash in his back and neck from a car accident.

Bishop returned to training on Thursday and McEwan admitted it was a welcome sight, saying: "I think the opposition see him on the team sheet and thinks 'we'll have to watch out for him'.

"We've missed him but he's had a good rest and was bursting to get back to training."

Goalkeeper Chris Porter has also recovered from a blow to his knee but Byron Webster is doubtful because of illness.

McEwan also feels that the teenage midfielder could be feeling weary, having played nine consecutive games.

Former Turkish youth international Lev Yalcin could replace Webster, with Paul Groves another option.

Centre-back Jon Maloney will also be making his farewell appearance before rejoining Doncaster Rovers after three months on loan with the Minstermen.

McEwan added: "I'd like to thank him for what he's done for York City and he's been a credit to Doncaster Rovers.

"I wish him well in the future and if he was to be given a free transfer in the summer we know what he can do and we might look at taking him back but there's hundreds of players whose details I'm being sent at the minute.

"There's a few good ones and it's a case of sorting out the wheat from the chaff and seeing if they will drop down from the League."

Updated: 08:59 Saturday, March 26, 2005