DAN MAGUIRE’S return to full fitness is one of Steve Watson’s main hopes for York City’s upcoming break.

Having been knocked out of the FA Trophy by Altrincham last month, York have extended time off until their next match at home to Darlington on December 21.

Watson currently has three players on the sidelines carrying injuries, with Maguire and Josh King both missing the side’s 0-0 draw at Kettering on Saturday while Joe Tait hobbled off with a hamstring problem during the second half.

The City boss will be hoping to report a clean bill of health by the time Darlo head to Bootham Crescent and in particular be able to call upon Maguire.

The striker, who was recruited from Blyth in the summer, has been plagued by injuries since his move, limiting him to only seven starts.

“There’s going to be a lot of points up for grabs in the next four weeks and we’ve got decent options,” said Watson. “One of the biggest things for us is getting Dan back and ready for this spell.

“We have got to now use this time wisely. We’ll now assess everybody. We’ll be looking to get Dan fit and get Taity rid of this injury for good and do the same with Josh King.

“With Taity, it’s the same thing that he did at Curzon Ashton. But, this time we nipped it in the bud straight away.

“We brought him off quite quickly and Spratty (Harry Spratt) was warming up anyway.

“Kyle McFarlane is back with us now and we’ll have a look at where he’s at. And we’ll have a look at whether there’s any need to do anything. Now will be the time to do that.

“We’ll be looking at everything in the next sort of 10 days and be ready to go again.

“We’ve started a mini run again being three games unbeaten. We got a good win at home (over Alfreton) and two good away draws (against Hereford and Kettering).

“It’s a starting point again and we’ll go from there.

“This spell is vital. Around mid-December to coming out of January can be season-defining.

“Everybody will be ready and raring to go come the Darlington game.”