HAMZA Bencherif has been challenged to target double figures in front of goal after ending an 83-game wait to open his York City account.

The former Algerian under-20 international bagged a surprise brace in the 4-0 New Year’s Day home victory over Darlington, having previously failed to hit the net during two years as a Minsterman.

But Bencherif had scored 28 professional goals prior to his arrival at Bootham Crescent and City chief Sam Collins wants the Paris-born 30-year-old to now set his sights high.

Fellow centre-back Collins hit the target 19 times in his career, including five for Port Vale during the 2002/03 campaign – his best haul in a single season.

That number is now the minimum Collins wants Bencherif to chase, with the City boss reasoning: “He’s a big, powerful boy.

“That’s pretty obvious for everyone to see and, if he can keep doing what he did against Darlington, then great. It’s always good as a defender to set little targets for the season and, if I got between five and ten, I was happy.

“He’s got his first couple now and he was generally good in the game so, if he can get a few more, that would be great for the team.”

Collins is also hoping his three-pronged strikeforce can continue to work in tandem to improve the team’s potency.

An in-form Jake Wright has netted three times in as many games, with Jordan Burrow has joining him twice on the scoresheet during that period.

Macaulay Langstaff, meanwhile, was unfortunate to see a goal wrongly disallowed at Blyth over Christmas and Collins explained: “We’re trying to get Jake and Macca coming from outside to inside to play together with Jordan, because that makes it easier for him, rather than being isolated, especially when they both want to make runs in behind, with their pace and energy.

“Against Darlington, we wanted them to go man-to-man with their three centre-backs and they carried that out and were a handful throughout the game.”

Collins went on to suggest that being more clinical might hold the key to reversing the team’s sorry away form.

The Minstermen have netted just three times during six straight league defeats on their travels, while they have managed 11 goals during a five-game unbeaten run on their own soil.

When asked to explain the discrepancy between his side’s home and away form, ahead of this afternoon’s National League North clash at Curzon Ashton, Collins declared: “It has to be down to work-rate and attitude and taking our chances when they come around.

“We could have been 3-1 up at Blyth by half-time and goals change games. They give you confidence because your mindset changes when you go in front and have something to hold on to.”

Teenage right-back Nathan Dyer, meanwhile, could come back into the reckoning at Curzon, having been rested for the Darlington victory.

“He had a difficult game against Darlington on Boxing Day, before bouncing back against Blyth, which was good, but I thought it was the right time to protect him again and give him a breather after he had played four games on the bounce,” Collins pointed out. “Josh (Law) has played there plenty of times, has good experience and I thought he played well.”