YORK City boss Billy McEwan has called on his players to draw inspiration from his heroic countrymen ahead of tomorrow's home match with table-topping Stevenage Borough.

The Hertfordshire visitors will start the Blue Square Premier fixture as favourites with the Minstermen currently lying 20th in the table after a sticky start to the season. But the patriotic McEwan has cited Scotland's shock 1-0 Euro 2008 qualifier victory over World Cup finalists France in Paris this week as an example of what can be achieved through hard work and team spirit.

Alex McLeish's men weathered a fierce French storm to take maximum points on Wednesday night, and McEwan is hoping his side can show similar defensive resilience after shipping eight goals in their last three games.

He said: "Nobody gave Scotland a cat in hell's chance of getting a result but they showed determination, desire, a will to win and a determination not to be beaten.

"France threw the kitchen sink at them, but they kept a clean sheet and our little nation showed what you can achieve if your team is organised and the players play for each other and run until they drop. I'm hoping our players have seen that and taken notice."

McEwan is also calling on City's supporters to match their Scottish counterparts' efforts off the pitch.

The KitKat Crescent crowd has dwindled after three defeats and a draw from the opening four home fixtures.

Away fans also expressed their frustration with chants of "What a load of rubbish" and "You don't know what you're doing" during last weekend's 3-0 defeat at Kidderminster Harriers.

But, while sharing the disappointment, McEwan has appealed for supporters to get behind their team.

McEwan said: "We haven't been playing as well as we can but having a pop at the players won't do them any good at all.

"We need the fans as our 12th man tomorrow and I hope they can get behind the team because we are in a scrap with a lot of tough games coming up.

"We have got to stick together.

"The players might make mistakes, but I hope our fans can be a little more tolerant with some of their comments to try to help some of the new players settle into the club."

Centre-back Carl Jones will not feature in tomorrow's squad after an accidental training ground clash with team-mate Chris Beardsley has left him with a suspected fractured cheek bone.

"When it rains, it pours," lamented McEwan.

City: (probable) Henderson, Craddock, McGurk, Kelly, Robinson, Woolford, Elliott, Panther, Hegarty, Brodie, Brayson. Subs: Evans, Purkiss, Sodje, Farrell, Wroe.

Stevenage: (probable) Julian, Fuller, Nutter, Miller, McMahon, Martin, Arber, Lewis, Morison, Dobson, Henry. Subs Gaia, Wilson, Russell, Allen, John.

Referee: Russell Fletcher (Derbyshire).

* York City will host Whitley Bay in the FA Youth Cup first qualifying round on Monday, September 24 at Kit Kat Crescent (7.30pm).

Admission will be £3 for adults, £1 for concessions.