MICKY CUMMINS has said this blank weekend has "come at a good time" for an ailing York City squad, and is positive about how it is progressing.

Dan Maguire and Josh King were both absent for Saturday's draw at Kettering Town while Joe Tait came off with a hamstring injury.

With a busy Christmas fixture period coming up, manager Steve Watson has said he is keen to have the trio back, naming Maguire's return among his priorities.

Assistant Cummins has reported that this weekend's rest - when York would otherwise have been playing in the FA Trophy - is doing no harm.

He said: "Joe's done a little bit of jogging and he went in goal. Kingy was doing a bit of jogging, Pete was off ill - not too serious - and Nipper's done a bit of the warm-up.

"It's come at a good time for us in that sense. We know it's going to be busy and a hectic schedule over the Christmas-New Year period.

"It's nice to start getting bodies back."

This two-week period is the longest York have gone without playing a fixture since they started pre-season on July 10.

Among the work being done on the training ground is new routes to goal, Cummins explained.

The challenge is balancing working the players and making sure there is still plenty left for the coming weeks - another area where Cummins puts faith in the players' judgement.

"We manage it by how they speak to us and what they're telling us, as well as us observing them, seeing what they need, and looking at previous games, what we've lacked in terms of tactical stuff," he said.

"We've been working on the pitch today on playing centrally. We're doing quite well with the width so we're looking at different things and different ways of scoring goals, concentrating on that sort of stuff.

"It is different," he added. "It gives an opportunity for the little niggles to rest up and for us to tick over in training. The intensity's still been pretty high and energy's been very good this week. The weather hasn't been fantastic, we've trained on the pitch a couple of times and at the training ground as well.

"It's been a refreshing, sharp week."