YORK City could be without defensive talisman David McGurk for three weeks because of a pulled calf muscle.

McGurk limped out of the action after just six minutes of last night’s 2-1 FA Trophy win at Oxford and the former Darlington centre-back now looks doubtful for the club’s third round trip to Kidderminster on Saturday, January 31 and all other fixtures before then.

Goals by strikers Daniel McBreen and Richard Brodie secured the surprise win at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium but City boss Martin Foyle could not disguise his disappointment at McGurk’s injury at the final whistle.

He said: “I was gutted when David went off because he’s been my best player since coming to the club.

“He went up for a header and felt his calf go when he landed. I don’t know how long he will be out but it sounds like a pull.”

Foyle did, however, hail the performance of substitute Darren Kelly, who is now expected to deputise for McGurk.

The City chief added: “We did all right after Kells came on and his attitude is always spot-on.

“It was a hard decision not to play him after he started the last match but I’ve told him that Dave McGurk and Danny Parslow are my best two central defenders and he just has to be patient.

“If he played in any other position, he would be in my team – that’s what I think of him as a player and a person and we need more of his type at the club.”

While expressing his pleasure at negotiating a passage past Oxford, Foyle added that he felt the performance did not paper over some cracks and he would still be looking to sign “one or two” new players before Saturday’s Blue Square Premier home match with Lewes.

He said: “I’m delighted to come to Oxford and get a win but I will still be doing something in the transfer market.

“I’ve told the players not to get carried away with a cup win. I’d rather have three points in the league and there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“You get a bit of prize money in the Trophy but it only really means something if you get to the semi-finals or the final.

“I’m here to get us out of trouble as quickly as I can. The chairman has been very supportive and I want to bring one or two players in.”

Nor has Foyle given up on signing Adam Smith despite Gainsborough’s stubborn stance over a transfer fee since the on-loan winger’s return to the Lincolnshire part-timers.

The City boss said: “The deal’s not dead in the water. I’ve been in touch with Gainsborough and am waiting to hear something back. I’m trying to knock down some walls to make it happen.”

On-loan Wrexham right-back Kyle Critchell, meanwhile, made his debut last night with Foyle suitably impressed, saying: “Critch has a football brain and likes to play and join in from defence.”

But injury-prone midfielder Steven Hogg did not feature and Foyle added that the Minstermen might need to allow time for the former Manchester United trainee to recover his fitness.

He said: “I feel sorry for the lad. He’s not played many games in his career and seems to play two games and then break down.

“That’s happened again and we might have to hold him back at the right times.”

City’s Setanta Shield tie at Barrow next Tuesday will go ahead after the Cumbrians lost their FA Trophy derby clash 3-0 to Workington last night.