WITH the projected return of captain Steve McNulty today, manager Steve Watson is optimistic for the health of his York City squad.

Centre-back McNulty has been out of action since the Gateshead game on August 26 but is set to be named in the squad at AFC Telford United today.

Striker Dan Maguire could also be nearing a return, while right-sided wing-back Kallum Griffiths - who is carrying a foot injury - is on the mend following an operation.

The adversity, however, has given other squad players a crack of the whip, with Josh King, Harry Spratt and Tom Allen all deputising for McNulty at various stages.

On the right wing, the same is true. Nathan Dyer made a goalscoring impact at Buxton, where he stepped up to fill Griffiths' spot.

And the confidence this gives York is something to be celebrated, Watson believes.

"Similar to the McNulty thing," he said. "Nathan's come in and proved he's more than capable of playing at this level.

"It's not ideal for players not being involved on a matchday but, if we look round when Kallum and Dan are fit, we've got at least two good players in every position.

"You can't keep all the players happy so we might have a look at sending some out on loan.

"I don't think any will be until the end of the season. You never know, when players come in, they might keep their places."

The players who do not make the squad this weekend, Watson added, "will be through no fault of the players. It's me picking a side and a bench to cover all eventualities.

"If we have injuries, we'll have to load the bench accordingly.

"They all accept that - that's not to say they're happy about it - but they all know it's not personal, they all know I think the world of them and the squad I've put together.

"They've all bought into what I've tried to do this season and they all know the decisions I try to make are for the best of what I think can win that game."

In-keeping with this, as he has previously iterated, Watson is also reluctant to add more players to a squad he considers is replete.

He said: "There's players out there but we feel we're at a stage where we've got a strong enough squad.

"I don't want to keep bringing in players for the sake of it. I think where we're at at the moment is healthy."

Injured midfielder Simon Heslop has also been training with York City for a few weeks now, but no decision has been made on his playing future - nor does there need to be, Watson adds.

"He's not our player anymore. He's very much a part of the lads', and my, group on the training ground.

"He was involved in the game against Hull but I think - and I'm not saying yes, I'm not saying no - until he's in a situation where he can go into a team that can play at this level - which I don't think he is yet, and I think he'd admit that himself - there's no decision to be made.

"All I will say is he's been great around the place, the lads love him and he's a very good footballer. I knew that before I came here.

"But until he's in a situation to play three, four, five National League North games in a row, there's nothing to discuss at the moment."