ANGRY York City manager Alan Little has issued a stay-away warning to 'outside forces' trying to profit from leading marksman Richard Cresswell.

Little made a scathing attack at what he described as illegal approaches nibbling at hot property Cresswell.

Since storming to the top of City's goal stakes with nine goals Cresswell has been tracked by a posse of clubs. Now all the interest was crowding in on the youngster to the detriment of his game, claimed the City boss.

He said he had no direct evidence, but he was certain that the 21-year-old striker was being 'tapped up' and he wanted it to stop.

The warning was delivered in the aftermath of the Minstermen's morale-crunching 5-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic, where Cresswell toiled to make an impression.

It was City's heaviest reverse for nine months and their third consecutive collapse sent them plummeting to 17th place in the Division Two table - their worst placing since the first week of the campaign.

Little's fear was that outside interests homing in on City's nine-goal striker were now beginning to have a damaging effect on the youngster's performances.

Railed the City manager: "My major concern right now is over Richard Cresswell and outside interests.

"There are outside influences making contact with him. I have no concrete evidence, but there have been some approaches made to Richard, and I feel there are things going on in his life which should not be going on.

"Let me say this. Richard Cresswell is under contract and so others cannot be approaching him."

The City manager stressed that newspaper speculation was not behind his fury, believing that Cresswell and the club could handle any conjecture about his future.

"It's other things," added Little. "There are people wanting to get fingers in the pie.

"There are people who want a slice of Richard Cresswell. And he is a young boy, who is impressionable"

Little revealed that in the days leading up to Saturday's game at Wigan Cresswell had met with him several times asking whether offers had been made for him after the striker had been told that bids were on the table.

Little insisted there were not. "People are telling him someone has made an offer and someone has made another. But no-one has made any offer.

"I don't think this is right. Richard Cresswell should be left alone to play his football for York City."

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