YORK City boss Gary Mills has urged all supporters to wear the club’s colours with pride to help the team turn their season around.

The Minstermen dropped to the bottom of the National League table last weekend following an unlucky 1-0 defeat to Tranmere and, while Mills shares the fans’ pain at the club’s current position and a run of 18 win-less games, he wants Saturday’s FA Trophy home clash with Worcester City to be the season’s turning point.

Mills has set a twin 2016/17 target of avoiding relegation and winning the Trophy at Wembley on Sunday, May 21.

The former Nottingham Forest midfielder completed a historic Trophy and play-off final double in 2012 and, having beaten Luton in the semi-finals of the former before going on to beat the Bedfordshire favourites to secure promotion back to the Football League, Mills believes the competition can provide a springboard for progress in the league.

Issuing his rally cry, the City chief said: "This is my football club and, for everybody who supports York City and has it in their heart, it’s time to iron your shirts, get out your scarves and wear them with pride to show who we are as a football club, because we need that. It’s easy to do that when you’re winning but, when you’re losing, it becomes more difficult.

“It must be so, so tough for everybody who supports the club, because they are being really patient, but my message is that now - more than ever - we have to stick together and go to battle against anybody who doubts us and feels we won’t get out of the bottom four or beat them in the FA Trophy. I know how difficult things are at the moment, but we can’t give in - we have to stand up to it.

“The game against Worcester is a very important one, because I want to win the FA Trophy. My aim is to make sure we are safe in April and then give the fans a trip to Wembley to celebrate that.

“As we all know, you can grow a strength in this competition and I believe winning the Trophy at Wembley, with its timing, helped us go on to get promotion.”

City were knocked out of the FA Cup this season by Worcester’s National League North rivals Curzon Ashton and, while not under-estimating the opposition, Mills reckons his squad, bolstered by new signings Jon Parkin, Rhys Murphy and Aarran Racine, are now better equipped to rise to the challenge such ties present.

“I have a squad now that I think are capable of beating anybody in our division if we play like we did at Tranmere,” Mills declared. “Before, I was going into games hoping we could get a result, now I believe we can and that’s a massive difference, because I know the players we have brought in, along with those who were already here that are good enough, can get us out of the mess we are in.

“Having been to Curzon Ashton, we know these teams can be difficult to play against. They have a few experienced players who have played at a good level and, with it being a cup game, you normally get the best out of those players, but Worcester will be playing against a different York City team to the one that played against Curzon.”

Mills added that he will be fielding his strongest side possible against the Midland part-timers, as he looks to end the club’s 14-week wait for a victory.

“The most important thing at the moment is to start winning and gain a belief, strength and passion to do that week in, week out,” he reasoned. “I think we had our best performance last weekend in defeat and we’ve got to look to build on that, so resting people would be a backward step.

“The new signings have also got to get to know the other lads better, so it’s the perfect time to kick on with the team I’d like to go forward with, give or take the odd change.”

On-loan striker Murphy, who is hoping to have recovered from the bruised ribs he suffered at Tranmere, could now miss the tie through illness, having caught the sickness bug that struck down his Forest Green team-mate Aarran Racine last week, with Mills joking: “I’m not sure if it’s the vegetarian diet at Forest Green and I’ve told both of them to get into York and buy themselves a meat pie each.”

Racine has recovered and is set to make his debut, while Daniel Nti, who is available again following a three-match suspension, is on standby to replace Murphy as Parkin’s striking partner against the club he left to sign for City in the summer.

Having been impressed by Luke Woodland’s reserve performance against Rotherham, meanwhile, Mills believes the Philippines international midfielder will acclimatise at Bootham Crescent, despite being dropped after his debut in the 3-0 defeat at Bromley.

“Some people judge players on their first game, but I know Luke’s a good player,” the City boss said. “Jon Parkin showed the difference between being 34 and 21, because he knows the game and his debut was exceptional at Tranmere.

“With younger players, though, it sometimes takes longer for them to show what they can do.”

Worcester, meanwhile, have declined the chance for Saturday’s tie to go to extra-time if the scores are level after 90 minutes to try and decide a winner on the day.

“The away team get that option, but they want a replay if the tie is drawn and I understand that,” Mills explained. “Grimsby got upset when my Gateshead team went there, got a 0-0 draw and wanted a replay.

“They wanted to try and finish it on the day, but I wanted to take them back to the cold north-east and we ended up beating them.”