YORK City's sole focus this weekend is getting to the next round of the FA Cup - but they are going to have to be practical about it.

The Minstermen on Saturday (3pm) welcome Yorkshire rivals Whitby Town to the LNER Community Stadium to do battle in the third round qualifying of the FA Cup.

City have been plagued by injuries so far this season, and their troubles show no signs of abating, with another unnamed "key player" potentially set to miss out tomorrow.

Without a full squad to lean on, manager Steve Watson has had to cut his cloth this season, deploying players out of position to plug notable gaps, and more team changes could be in the offing for Whitby.

A Cup run would be "fabulous" Watson says - though the club's chief concern remains escaping National League North.

"In no way am I belittling the FA Cup but the league is a massive priority for us," he admitted.

"If we have to do things on Saturday we think will benefit the rest of the season, we will have to do them.

"(A Cup run) is huge for the club and huge for the lads.

"We've done it (when managing) at Gateshead. We had a great draw at Luton, and (when manager) at Macclesfield with Walsall.

"It would be fabulous. At the moment, although the league's a massive priority, that's our only focus - to get to the next round of the Cup."

Left-sided defenders Scott Barrow and Sean Newton are set to be missing for the longest period of time. Midfielder Paddy McLaughlin has missed three games with a thigh problem.

Sam Fielding (ankle) is expected to need another week of recovery while youngster Lewis Cunningham has been taken out of the equation for Saturday after pulling his hamstring.

Watson says he is in a position to look at left-backs and hopes to be able to put "two or three before the board", which will likely happen after the Whitby game.

"Ducky's filled in there but it's not his natural position," he said.

"It's not a natural position for young Oliver (Dyson, at right-back).

"We've had Akil Wright play centre-half.

"The season isn't going to stop for us so we have to crack on.

"The two main injuries aren't going to be back. We're looking at at least six weeks to two months for both.

"(The FA Cup) gives Paddy (McLaughlin) another week. It gives us a chance to get more minutes into players that need them.

"You can get by games with players in positions that aren't comfortable to them, but you don't want to do it for too long.

"Certainly with the left side, it's a long way. We're looking at at least six weeks to two months for both of them."

Asked if Whitby might be a chance to get some younger players game time, Watson said: "The only problem with that is we had Lewis Cunningham pull his hamstring the other day.

"In an ideal world, he might have been the one to be given a chance.

"Jonny Haase captained a good (Academy) win at Bradford (Park Avenue) and young Michael (Hogan) made a good penalty save.

"The step up is a big one. Whitby are (physically) strong and the question is whether the lads are quite there yet.

"We'll get them in (on Friday) with us and have a look."

Scott Barrow's next scan is scheduled for around October 19. After that, he will be two weeks away and have to do rehab work to get back up to full fitness.

Sean Newton "isn't far behind that," Watson said.

Sam Fielding could be back in training before Southport.

Cunningham will not be available until the end of next week.