NATHAN DYER believes competition for places is keeping York City players at their best.

The right-back knows a thing or two about competing for a starting berth, with his preferred position usually occupied by wing-back Kallum Griffiths.

Thus far, Griffiths has been hard to displace in the side, with his role down the right a key feature of the 3-5-2 formation that has been such a revelation for York this term.

Griffiths, however, has picked up a foot injury and he was unable to feature in last Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup comeback win at Buxton.

His replacement, Dyer, duly rewarded manager Steve Watson's team selection with a big hand in the equaliser - an own goal off Alex Brown, whom Dyer was pressuring - and the winning strike late on.

Asked if he thinks he has done enough to merit another start - tomorrow at AFC Telford United - Dyer said, "I hope so.

"I've just got to play my game and hope it's enough to keep me in the team.

"Everyone's pushing for places. You need to do your best all the time.

"(Griffiths) will be back soon and back stronger, so hopefully that will push me on as well."

It was a hard-fought tie. Buxton belied their lowly, winless status in the Northern Premier League premier division and it was hard to begrudge them their half-time lead.

But York came out a stronger side in the second half, controlling the game better and laying the foundations for Dyer's winning strike - the first of a number, he hopes.

Dyer got on the end of opposite wing-back David Ferguson's ball to the back post and headed it across goal. Alex Kempster collected the rebound off the crossbar and he played the ball into the six-yard area, where Dyer was waiting to hammer it mercilessly into the roof of the net.

"I thought it was a typical FA Cup tie," he said. "Buxton played 20 per cent better than they would do on an average weekend.

"I think we rose to it more in the second half and got our just rewards because I think we dominated the second half."

On his goal, he added: "The gaffer's always encouraging me to get forward and play to my strengths, which is running with the ball.

"Hopefully that will help me get more goals."

But it is not just going forward the management duo of Watson and assistant Micky Cummins have helped the youngster with.

"Naturally, I was an attacker," Dyer said. "So it's natural for me to want to go forward more than defend but the gaffer wants to build a team based on a strong unit at the back.

"That's the way we'll hopefully win this league - with a strong unit at the back. Defending comes first.

"I think I've really developed as an all-round footballer since Micky and the gaffer have come in," he added.

"Attacking was my strong point but they've helped me get better defensively in body shape and things like that.

"The whole team's improved, they're getting more out of the players, and that shows on the pitch.

"We're getting results.

"I think we've done really well so far. We're unbeaten - a few draws along the way - but in this league, anyone can beat anyone so it's going to be tough but we'll do our best to keep it going.

"That's the end goal, win the league - we might even do it unbeaten."