YORK City can send a “strong message” if they get a positive result today at Boston United, assistant manager Micky Cummins believes.

The two sides are showing very similar form at the minute, level on points after the same amount of games played, with Boston one position above seventh-placed City in the league only by goal difference.

Both also pushed each other in the hunt for the National League North play-off places last season, when City finished the season second and Boston third.

This is the second in run of January fixtures which have been touted as a tough period for York. The Minstermen started with a point at high-flying Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday and now have the chance to make a mark at fellow promotion hopefuls Boston.

Cummins commented: “I think it’s a barometer of how the league is levelling out and of the teams that have been competitive and there or thereabouts in the last couple of seasons.

“Certainly they were strong last year and I feel they’ve strengthened even more this season, they’ve moved to their new stadium and they’re playing on a better pitch, better surfaces.

“I feel we’ve improved and we’ve got stronger as well. It’s just on the day who copes best, who creates more and takes them opportunities.

“They’re a good club, we’ve got a good relationship with them off the pitch, their staff and everything else, but come Saturday there will be a strong message if we go there and get a positive result.”

On the opposition, Cummins added: “Similar to us really - same points tally, they got a draw the other evening, same amount of games played.

“They had a big turnaround in summer and brought in some experienced lads - Paul Green, Terry Hawkridge, David Perkins, Joe Leesley on loan from Harrogate.

“They’ve certainly got firepower and a stronger squad than last year.

“But we can’t go there being overly cautious - I think we’ve got to go with our plan and hopefully implement that to get the result we’re looking for.

"Having watched them play, it’s a nice new set-up, a nice pitch to play on.

“We’re in the middle of a busy period. We want to see a response. If we take a lead, we want to extend that lead. If it’s tight, we want to stay compact high up the pitch and play the game in the opposition’s half.

“Again, like every plan, we look to win, we look to exploit weaknesses and look at our strengths.”

Boston have the best defensive record in the division, letting in fewer goals per game than any other side.

Asked about preparations to unlock it, Cummins said: “We understand set pieces are a big thing in this league, we understand trying to isolate wide men, create one-v-one situations all over the pitch and try and dominate the ball, especially in the opposition half.

“Obviously we’ve looked at videos, done our analysis, and certainly we’ll be in a good battle.”

There were no injuries to report from the Kidderminster draw. Medium-term absentees Owen Gamble and Harry Bunn “are maybe two or three weeks away”, Cummins reported, while keeper Ryan Whitley has returned from his loan spell at Northern Premier League premier division side Scarborough Athletic.

“There is pressure on the starting 11 to stay in the team,” Cummins added. “There are lads knocking on the door and putting in performances in training that probably warrant an opportunity.”