MANAGER Steve Watson insists York City "will not be daunted" when they go to Darlington tomorrow.

National League North high-fliers York were on the wrong end of a 5-1 scoreline on their last visit to Blackwell Meadows.

But it is a refreshed regime in place at York, with players and staff yet to taste defeat this season, and with 13 points from a possible 15 on the road.

Watson, pictured, said: "It's a completely new set of players, new system, new manager, new philosophy and new confidence hopefully.

"But Darlington are the same, new players and a new manager.

"Whatever happened last season is not even in this group's mentality. They won't daunted by going there and we'll approach it the same way as we have every away game, really backing ourselves."

Last time out, City played out a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Southport - the first time this season Watson admits to being disappointed by a York performance - while Darlington went down 2-1 at Gloucester City. Currently 17th in the table heading into the weekend, the Quakers have lost five of their opening eight fixtures.

However, all three of those wins have come at home - and with what is normally a feisty affair on the horizon, Watson is expecting a good test.

"They haven't started the way they would have wanted to," he said. "But they've got good options going forward and dangerous players.

"We're under no illusions how tough it will be. In this league I've never come across a comfortable game - especially for York City. People relate you as one of the biggest clubs in the league and people want to get one over on you. Players lift their game, especially at Bootham Crescent. We've combated that quite well this season.

"Funnily enough, Southport was the first game where I look back slightly disappointed," he added.

"Guiseley was a good draw but Southport was a bit below the standards we have set, and we're looking to put that right on Saturday.

"When we put the squad together we knew it was a good group and we knew they would always try and do what was asked of them in the way they train and in taking on messages.

"My job's to keep demanding more.

"They want to improve and you can tell that after the game on Saturday, they were slightly disappointed - that's a good sign."

Striker Jordan Burrow missed the Southport game but could be back in Watson's thinking for Darlo.

Steve McNulty, meanwhile, has had a scan to ascertain how close to recovery he is, but is unlikely to be risked for either Darlington or Irlam in the FA Cup. Paddy McLaughlin had his first full training session on Thursday since injuring his posterior cruciate ligament, but again, will probably miss out.

"We've been unlucky this year," said Watson. "We've stayed where we are and we've stayed unbeaten.

"This summer we went for quality over quantity but we always knew that if we got two, three, four injuries at the same time it would be tough.

"Luckily, touch wood, we've got through that spell.

"I'm not wishing injury on anybody but other clubs will have a spell where they're without key players.

"If that's us gone through that spell now unscathed, that can only be good news."