DAN MAGUIRE faces a late fitness test ahead of York City's National League North meeting with Alfreton Town.

The striker has had a rough time of it this season with injuries. A knee problem kept him out of action for two-and-a-half months from the start of the season, while a knock to his back meant he missed the Curzon Ashton trip a fortnight ago.

He featured for just under half an hour on Saturday in the FA Trophy defeat to Altrincham, coming on as a second-half substitute for Jordan Burrow.

On Thursday, boss Steve Watson revealed Maguire had not trained with the squad throughout the week but was hopeful he could be examined before 3pm on Saturday.

The 26-year-old scored 25 goals for Blyth Spartans last year but only has one strike to his name this year.

Watson said: "We plan to leave him till tomorrow or even give him a fitness test before the game.

"He's frustrated and we're frustrated for him because he just hasn't been able to get going.

"He gives us something different. He's unpredictable and hard to play against.

"Saturday he gave us glimpses of what we hoped we'd got.

"We know we will get there with him. Hopefully it will be this week."

Joe Tait is back available after missing out at the weekend with a hamstring injury.

Should Tait make the pitch, he and his fellow defenders will have their hands full with Alfreton's attacking line, and one-time York City striker Amari Morgan-Smith, who has 10 goals to his name so far this term. Morgan-Smith - who made 28 appearances for the Minstermen in 2017/18 - was on target in the Reds' 2-1 win at Hereford in their last league outing.

Alfreton's visit is the start of a busy week for York, who make the long journeys to Hereford and Kettering Town over the following seven days.

Watson said: "Saturday we need a positive, front-foot performance against a team who play a similar system to us. Their front men are a handful, they've got good pace and they're a good foil for each other.

"We need a good performance on Saturday. That's the first port of call.

"Then we've got two away games which, strangely enough, I'm very positive about. You should be more positive about home games but I'm positive we can get points.

"The next three games, my belief is they will cement us back where we really want to be."

And Watson is indeed optimistic for the near future - but is also keen to keep grounded for now.

Still, York's fine league campaign has the potential to improve yet as Watson also said York have financial room to manoeuvre.

"We have started fantastically well," he said.

"I try not to read too much into what people say but I have read things that have almost hinted the league's done and dusted. I've tried to keep expectations realistic.

"It's a case of just buckling down.

"We've got a strong squad and players out on loan who will be back early January, whose loans will hopefully have done the same job as it did for Macaulay Langstaff last year.

"We have the money and ability to strengthen because I haven't used the budget yet.

"We're in a very good place.

"Sometimes I step back and think 'are we not doing as well?' then I look at it realistically and I think we're doing great, I really do."