YORK City boss Russ Wilcox insists Diego De Girolamo will not be missed if his heart was not in the battle to keep the club in the Football League.

De Girolamo, who had agreed to stay at Bootham Crescent on loan from Sheffield United until the end of the season, has chosen to join Sky Bet League Two rivals Northampton on the same terms instead.

Offering his explanation for the switch, the Italian under-20 international cited the appeal of playing "attractive football" on a good surface, telling the Cobblers' official website: "I had a really good time at York but, when I spoke to the gaffer here (Chris Wilder), I know Northampton play attractive football and express myself by getting on the ball a lot.

"The pitch also looks great and I'm looking forward to playing on it."

Wilcox will now look to replace De Girolamo with another loan signing and, on the 19-year-old striker's decision to move on, the City boss said: "It was a shock and disappointing but, with loan players, you run the risk of that happening.

"I thought we had him for the rest of the season but nothing surprises me any more in football. If Diego has played a part in going there, then that's disappointing after the comments he made before about coming to York City but, if that's what he wants and where he wants to be, then we need players who are fully committed to the cause of survival.

"You have to look at the positives and there will be money available now to bring somebody else in. We are still on the look out for another forward and perhaps a midfielder as well."

Along with De Girolamo, City could be without centre-back Stephane Zubar (thigh) and winger Michael Coulson (hip) for Saturday's trip to Accrington Stanley after the pair limped out of the action during Tuesday night's 1-0 home defeat to Bury.

Should Zubar be unavailable, Wilcox will decide between John McCombe and Dave Winfield, who has been recalled from his loan spell at AFC Wimbledon, as a replacement.

The City boss added: "With Stephane having a tight thigh, we have to make sure we cover all bases and don't leave ourselves short, so it's great to have Dave back. He's played seven games for Wimbledon so he's fully match fit now and both him and John are champing at the bit.

"It would come down to a tough choice between two terrific professionals. They are very experienced players and you need people who have been there and done it at this stage of the season whether you're at the top or bottom end of the table."

Midfielder Luke Summerfield could also be recalled after making a full recovery from his thigh problem.

Wilcox, meanwhile, has revealed that he still enjoys the full backing of chairman Jason McGill and his fellow directors despite fans venting their frustration after the midweek Bury defeat.

"I had a chat with the chairman the day after Tuesday's game, which we always do to debrief," Wilcox explained. "I have his support and the board are behind me.

"They know the situation. People sometimes forget that we have been down near the bottom all season, not just whilst I've been here.

"I came to the club after a run of one win in 17 games so it wasn't a bed of roses. There's a lot of frustration towards the team and everything.

"That will also be happening at other clubs around the country who are at the bottom end of the table. It's tough to turn that around as it has been for Mickey Adams at Tranmere and other managers.

"He would have been under pressure after five defeats on the spin before they won in midweek."

Wilcox also insisted he would not crack under the pressure that is intensifying as relegation-threatened City prepare for their final nine fixtures.

He said: "As a manager, the pressure makes me more determined to be successful because I know that, if I can get through these nine games and make sure we survive, I can changes things around in the summer to make us more competitive next season. The pressure never goes away as a manager but I think I handle it quite well.

York Press:

CALM: Russ Wilcox will remain focused to get York City out of League Two relegation trouble

"I had it at Scunthorpe when we were at the top end of the table and everybody knows what's at stake if the club drops out of the league. It's a disaster for whichever two clubs it happens to, but I have to stay calm, focussed and fully committed to getting everything out of this group of players.

"As the leader, I can't sulk, moan and groan and I see it as my job to provide a spark for the players. That's in my character and I was like that as a player and an assistant manager.

"We all know how quickly football changes. Everyone was saying it would be Hartlepool and one other team going down this season but they've just won back-to-back away games and that's put them right back in things.

"Our next two matches are both winnable and, if we do get six points, then the picture changes again. Tuesday was a low after our result and others elsewhere but we've still got 27 points to play for.

"We're at the top of a mini league down there and we've got to make sure we stay there and get over the line."

Ahead of trips to 17th-placed Accrington and a Mansfield side currently lying 16th place, the City boss also reckons his team should derive confidence from a record of six wins, four draws and only one defeat against sides in the bottom nine places of the division this term.

He reasoned: "We've picked up points against most sides down there with us. Accrington are not quite out of trouble yet and, if we beat them, that will bring them closer to the pack, so that's important.

"We can also take confidence from the last time we played them when we got a rare home win and kept a clean sheet."

Wilcox also unveiled Richard Cresswell as his new first-team coach and said of the former striker, who was head of football operations at the club: "It's something we've been looking to do for a while because it's important you get as much help as you can on the training ground.

"Other clubs have six or seven staff members and Richard will bring a fresh face and ideas to the group and all that can do is help.

"Hopefully, along with myself and Steve Torpey, he can make us score more goals and be a bit more competitive because I think improving that side of our game is they key to moving up the table."