ALEX Harris looks set to keep his place in York City’s first XI for Saturday’s National League North home clash against FC United of Manchester.

The 24-year-old Scotsman was benched for three consecutive games before starting last weekend’s 3-1 FA Trophy triumph at Kidderminster, where he teed up the first of Jordan Burrow’s two goals just 90 seconds into the Aggborough victory, as City made an impressive switch to 4-2-3-1.

Harris replaced on-loan striker Joe Ironside in the visitors’ team with the latter refused permission to play against his parent club in the competition and, on the one-time Scottish FA Cup finalist’s prospects this weekend, manager Sam Collins said: “Alex Harris is a really good footballer - it’s as simple as that.

“Some of the things he has been doing on the training pitch this week have, without being disrespectful, probably been too good for this level, and we’re looking for him to show that consistently. He showed at Kidderminster how well he can play, and he looked like the player we saw when he first came to us.

“We need goals and we need to create goals and he gives us that. He’s a really, exiting player and, if people deserve to stay in the team, they will do, and others have to fight to get back in.”

Collins has also called on his team to ensure that their energetic performance at Kidderminster now becomes the norm, as the club look to improve on their current sixth-bottom standing in the league table.

“We have worked the players really hard in training because I think the most important thing we took out of last Saturday’s game was the intensity we played at,” the City boss pointed out. “We played right up the pitch against a really good team and that’s what I’m looking for the players to do game after game.

“We’re trying to nail down with the squad that this is how we have to play if we are going to win games.”

With Leamington visiting Bootham Crescent on Tuesday night and the Minstermen then travelling to Boston United the following weekend, Collins added that he will be demanding a vast improvement on the club’s last eight-day schedule of three league fixtures when a hat-trick of consecutive defeats was suffered against Telford, Spennymoor and Bradford Park Avenue.

“It’s really important that we get a reaction from the last time we were in this situation and, hopefully, the win at Kidderminster can set us up for a really good week,” he reasoned.

While respecting the potential threat of FC United, Collins went on to stress that he will be placing greater emphasis on making sure his players perform to the best of their ability, explaining: “They’re a talented footballing team who are quite expansive but I’m more concerned with and focussed on us, like we were at Kidderminster when I asked the front four to win us the game and the other six outfield players to make sure we didn’t lose it.

“With some players, it’s a case of the simpler you keep it, the better and I want them to play with no fear. Everyone enjoyed watching the Chester and Kidderminster games and that’s what I want from every game.”