YORK City boss Colin Walker has challenged Craig Farrell to make himself an automatic choice up front.

Walker has chopped and changed his forwards this season with Farrell, Onome Sodje, Daniel McBreen and Richard Brodie all being dropped at different stages.

But Farrell is guaranteed to start tomorrow’s home match with Cambridge after impressing during Sunday’s 3-3 draw with Stevenage.

That will represent the first time the former Carlisle and Exeter forward has made the starting line-up in back-to-back games since August and Walker has promised a more prolonged run of games if Farrell can maintain last weekend’s standards.

The City manager said: “It’s very much up to Craig. If we can get the Craig Farrell we had at the start of last season and certainly the season before, I don’t think there’s anybody who’s quicker or works harder. It’s just getting that out of him.

“Scoring at Stevenage and having a hand in the other two goals will have given him confidence and he’s shown that in training this week. He wouldn’t be very happy if I didn’t pick him tomorrow after the way he responded last weekend and we’ve just got to make the decision who plays up there with him.”

With Sodje sidelined with a hamstring injury, Australian striker McBreen looks favourite to partner Farrell, pictured, although Brodie and talented teenager Adam Boyes are also in contention.

Right-back Ben Purkiss has been passed fit, meanwhile, after limping out of the action at Stevenage with a foot injury and Walker has called on his players to treat tomorrow’s game like their first of the season.

Despite winning just one of their last ten games, City are still only five points adrift of fifth-placed play-off contenders Cambridge and, due to the open nature of this season’s division, Walker feels his side can still make a quick impression at the top end of the table if they can build on the positives from the 3-3 draw at Broadhall Way.

He said: “If we can get a win that can kick-start us and get us back into the top ten and then the season starts again. The game at Stevenage showed they have the character and ability to play anybody in this league.

“We’ve only lost two in 12 and did well in pre-season but we need to start winning – that’s the missing ingredient.”

Cambridge have also had a sticky spell of two victories in eight games after winning their first four fixtures but Walker is not reading too much into their recent struggles.

He said: “There are no easy games in this league. Woking have won three since they lost to us and I’m sure Cambridge will be big and strong.”

Cambridge (probable): Potter, Gleeson, Bolland, Hatswell, Tonkin, Challinor, Brown, Carden, Convery, McEvilly, Beesley.

Subs: Drench, Coulson, Jardim, Holroyd, Crow.

City (probable): Ingham, Purkiss, McGurk, Parslow, Robinson, Rusk, Greaves, Russell, Holmes, McBreen, Farrell.

Subs: Mimms, McWilliams, Wilkinson, Brodie, Boyes.

Referee: Michael Naylor (South Yorkshire).