MANNY PANTHER is enjoying "a new lease of life" after being asked to play in a more advanced role.

The York City skipper has been relieved of his midfield anchorman duties in recent weeks and his marauding form has been a feature of the Minstermen's last two wins.

Furthermore, after waiting 54 matches to get his first City goal, which came at Weymouth in late November, he was back on target in Saturday's fantastic 5-0 thrashing of Crawley Town, and he now expects more goals to follow.

"I'm playing in a slightly different position to what I've been used to," he explained. "The manager has put me in a more attacking position and in a way it's given me a new lease of life.

"He's asked all the team to contribute with the goals, instead of relying on Clayton (Donaldson), and it seems more of us have started scoring, like myself and Steve Bowey. "Hopefully we can maintain that form for the rest of the season."

He added: "It was nice to get a goal at KitKat Crescent. It's been coming. The fans have been superb but most missed the last goal and there were some supporters with I was there when Manny scored' T-shirts.

"I was delighted to get one at home and hopefully there'll be more to come."

Panther is also now reaping the benefits of a full pre-season at City after missing out last year.

"My fitness levels have helped," said the 23-year-old, who spent time at the gym yesterday even though boss Billy McEwan gave the squad two days off ahead of their free weekend.

"I'm fitter this year than last year and I feel stronger as the season's gone on. I'm now just trying to get forward as often as I can and hopefully I can finish with a few more goals."

He added: "We were given Sunday and Monday off but you've got to be professional. I was at the gym yesterday, making sure I was not doing nothing."

As for having no game this week, Panther said: "It's a bit unfortunate. We've got a bit of good form and we'd have liked to keep the momentum.

"But we just have to keep ourselves ticking forward and make sure we're ready for the next game in a fortnight."

That recent form has kept City in touch with the top two in the Conference and built a four-point buffer inside the play-off zone.

But Panther refuses to get carried away, sticking with the "one game at a time" clich.

"Our aim is to take each game as it comes," he said. "We would obviously prefer to win the league rather than get a play-off place, but if we give it 100 per cent every week we can't complain where we finish."