YORK City caretaker manager Sam Collins believes he has the better squad of players ahead of Saturday’s home clash with undefeated Kidderminster Harriers.

The in-form visitors took four points from a possible six against the Minstermen last term and knocked the Bootham Crescent outfit out of the FA Trophy.

Harriers have also made the National League North play-offs for the last two seasons, receiving plaudits for their attractive football.

But Collins reckons his side can now match Kiddy in the style stakes and is predicting a high-quality contest in which the home side are well-equipped to prevail.

He said: “I think they’ll be in and around the top places at the end of the season. I watched them on Saturday against Blyth and have watched more of their games on the internet and they’re still a good footballing team.

“A few players have moved on, but others have come in and their style is very similar. They’re maybe a bit more direct at times, but I’m expecting a really good footballing game with how we are playing as well.

“They’ve got three or four good players at this level but there are areas we feel we can exploit to cause them problems. They’ll be thinking the same about us, but I feel we have better players than them all over the pitch and on the bench, so we’ll be ready for them.”

City will return to action after a fortnight break caused by the postponement of Saturday’s match at Nuneaton due to international call-ups and Collins feels his players will have benefitted from more time on the training pitch.

“We’ve really knuckled down and done a lot of hard work with and without the ball in terms of how we want to play,” the temporary chief reasoned. “We had an in-house game as well where we changed personnel but used the same formation which I like, and everybody has a clear picture in that respect now, having also gone through the Hereford game, where I was a bit disappointed with how we played for 20 minutes in the second half.

“The two weeks without a game could prove a blessing in disguise even though we wanted to play to keep our unbeaten run going, as it’s also given our injured players like Sean Newton and Alex Kempster time to get back and we’ve just about got a clean bill of health.”

Collins went on to reveal that no further talks had taken place concerning the length of his caretaker reign, which has currently seen him oversee three unbeaten fixtures.

“I’m just carrying on and trying to do what I think is right in terms of what the players need,” he stressed. “It’s no big thing that nothing has been decided yet and I’m really enjoying doing this, as I was working with the under-19s.

“I speak to people at the football club every day, which I’ve done since coming here at the end of June. At some stage, I’m sure there’ll be some sort of conversation, but I’m not worried about that and I’m just cracking on.

“We’ve got an environment where the players are working hard with smiles on their faces and, whilst in an ideal world it would be great to be told by the chairman or (sporting director) Dave (Penney) that they want me to carry on as manager, that can only happen by concentrating on doing the job day-to-day and trying to win games.”

Collins, meanwhile, is continuing to dedicate long hours in an attempt to keep moving the Minstermen in the right direction, adding: “I’m pretty obsessive and find it very difficult to switch off, but I also have a wife and children at home and we did have family time together on Sunday after I’d been to the Kidderminster game the day before. Then, when it comes to the working week, I’m usually up at 4.30am about three hours before the kids go to school watching DVDs of matches, as I’m not a good sleeper anyway.”

City have reduced admission prices, meanwhile, for their FA Cup second qualifying round home tie against Ashton Athletic a week on Saturday.

Only the Main Stand and David Longhurst End will be open for the match with prices £10 for adults, and £5 for concession, while under-fives are free of charge.

Commenting on the clash with the lowly North West Counties League outfit, Collins pointed out: “We want to progress as far as we can in every competition, but there are no easy games no matter who you are playing and where they’re from. We watched them against Morpeth, so we have a bit of an understanding of what they are about and it’s good to be at home.”