STEVE WATSON believes that York City will be able to go on a run “we’re all craving” once he is able to choose from a fully fit squad.

Watson’s selection choices have been hampered by injury for most of the season, particularly in defence where midfielders have regularly dropped into the back four.

In City’s 3-1 FA Cup replay win over Morpeth Town, the manager reported that he was down to just 11 fit senior outfield players and was without Scott Barrow, Sean Newton, Matty Brown, Josh King and Jason Gilchrist.

Despite that, York’s form has picked up following the three straight defeats at the start of the campaign, having won seven of their last nine matches.

Watson said: “I think anybody that sits back and is genuinely honest about it, they know how hard this season has been for us and knows that when we have a full squad to pick from and some of the best players in the league to pick from, we will be able to go on the run that we’re all craving.

“But at the moment, we’ve lost one in nine, we’re in the next round of the cup, we’ve got three important league games coming up and we are (still) short of bodies.

“But I’ve got to overcome that, keep the lads’ (spirits) lifted and keep them motivated every day.

“It’s a challenge but you know that coming to York City is a challenge because you know the size of the club and the expectancy levels.

“If you throw everything we’ve had thrown at us in the mix this season, it’s been tough.

“But the lads keep going and they won’t stop.

“We had two or three knocks. Mackenzie Heaney got stamped on right in front of us, which was outrageous and he’ll be lucky to be fit for Saturday.

“We tried to manage Clayton (Donaldson’s) Achilles and I looked over at Akil and he was limping. But to be honest when I see someone limping now, I’m too scared to ask,” laughed Watson.

In order to address City’s injury problems, Watson is still looking into bringing in reinforcements but says that recruiting a guaranteed starter during the season is no easy task.

“We’ll only bring players in that will play,” he said.

“We’ve got Jonny Haase and Lewis Cunningham and I was evening thinking about Jonny (starting) for the game, but I thought about the importance of the game, the surface, how direct they are and how defensive he’d have to be, because he’s an attacking left-back. It just wasn’t the right game to throw him in.

“I’m not going to bring another young lad in that will stunt their growth.

“If somebody comes in, it’s somebody that’s ready to play, somebody that’s played at this level or higher that’s needing a game.

“There’s not that many around but we’ll keep having a look this week.

“Paddy (McLaughlin) will give you absolutely everything he’s got (at left-back), but I don’t think he’ll thank me for keeping him there too much longer.”

The 3-1 victory at Morpeth ensured that York would have a first round home tie against Buxton, also of the Pitching In Northern Premier League, next month.

City will again be the strong favourites to progress and another win will put them a step closer to a clash with a high-profile Football League club.

“We watched the cup (draw on Sunday) like everyone else, but we were of the mindset that you can’t get too excited about it until the job is done,” added Watson.

“Buxton are a team with good funding and good players down there. It will be a tough tie but the good thing is that we’re there and ready to go again.

“We’ve got a very tough Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday coming up before we can even think about that."