MICKY CUMMINS has said York City's preparations ahead of the visit of Kettering Town have involved removing the "fear factor".

The assistant manager also believes that the onus for goalscoring should not fall solely on the Minstermen's strikers as York look to put in a positive performance on Saturday.

York have the third-best goal difference in the National League North - and the fourth-best across all three divisions in the National League - but this is more the result of the side's defensive efforts than those at the other end of the pitch.

Indeed, they are bested by five other teams in the 'goals for' column in the north tier alone, and 10 in the south section, who have played a comparable number of games.

This it not down to a lack of endeavour, though. As has been the subject of a number of post-match discussions, York create enough chances, but do not seem to capitalise with the ruthlessness other sides do.

The 1-0 defeat at King's Lynn last Saturday was a good illustration. York's shots total was into double figures, of which seven were on target, but they were undone by a moment of sharpness from the league's in-form striker Adam Marriott, who pounced on a small mistake from Pete Jameson to net the winner.

And such single-minded attacking seems to be part of the template York want to see.

Of York's work in the final third this week, Cummins said: "Taking the fear factor out of the players.

"Don't be afraid to shoot. If you get half a chance, get your shot away.

"If the keeper saves, someone's going to be there to parry it. If you miss the target, we reset and go again.

"Take that fear away from them. We've got in some good crossing positions and some good deliveries.

"And it's not only down to the strikers, we've got to have the midfielders arriving. On set pieces, corners, you've got to look at defenders.

"It's not just finger-pointing at the attackers in the team. As a collective we need to contribute a bit more."

When York and Kettering met at the start of December, the sides shared a goalless draw on a particularly heavy pitch - a challenging game in which Cummins admits City had chances to get on the scoresheet.

On the Bootham Crescent turf, York will be hopeful of a surface more conducive to playing to their style, and Cummins insists the Minstermen must show intent going forward.

Visitors Kettering are currently 17th in the National League North, but are enjoying a resurgence under new manager Paul Cox, who was appointed following Nicky Eaden's sacking in September.

Eaden oversaw an underwhelming start to term in which Kettering lost seven of their opening 11 league games. The final straw was the FA Cup exit to Sutton Colfield Town.

Since Cox took to the dugout in late October, Kettering have lost just one of their last 11, picking up five wins in that time.

"It's a leveller, whatever style you play," he said of the field at Latimer Park. "Again, we missed a couple of opportunities, but we didn't concede.

"At home, we've got to be positive and try and get as many entries in their final third as we can, get some bodies on the end of crosses or shots."

Of Cox he added: "He's changed a few things. They've gone to a back five.

"I wouldn't say they're direct but they don't mess about with the ball in their half. They like to get the ball forward.

"They bring an energy as well. They've got an enthusiastic manager who is rubbing off on the lads they put out."

Cummins also reported that, as of Thursday, there were no issues other than Dan Maguire's continued rehabilitation.

"He has trained well," Cummins said. "He's stronger, fitter and getting through sessions no problem. He's responded well to treatment. He just needs to start playing."