A VIRUS that has swept through Bootham Crescent has left six York City players doubtful for tomorrow’s Blue Square Premier clash at Crawley Town (3pm).

City boss Martin Foyle was reluctant to reveal which players had been struck down by the sickness bug which claimed its first victim last weekend when skipper Daniel Parslow sat out the 2-0 FA Cup victory over Bedworth United.

He also added the club would not be pursuing a postponement, with the Conference board unlikely to respond favourably to such a request.

City set off for an overnight stay in West Sussex today, with Foyle due to make a judgement call on whether victims willing to play through their illness should travel at the risk of infecting other team-mates.

The concerned City boss said: “We have as many as six players ill with sickness problems as well as (assistant manager) Andy Porter.

“We had to pull three or four off the training ground yesterday because they are really, really run down and I haven’t got a clue what the team will be tomorrow.

“There are too many under the weather and we are wafer thin because we haven’t got enough players. Some people think it’s easy to play through these things but everybody’s different.

“It affects certain players worse than others and we are travelling down together, so there’s a chance it will spread. What I do know is I will be making changes because they will be forced upon me.”

Foyle added that he would not be making any emergency loan signings to compensate for the potential multiple absentees, reasoning: “Anybody we brought in would probably not be able to play in the Cup next weekend, so you can’t rush into things like that.”

Striker Richard Pacquette will not be pressed into action either, with his return to training following a thigh problem pencilled in for Monday, while fellow forward Michael Gash is still recuperating from his metatarsal injury.

With City’s top-six rivals Kettering and Stevenage meeting tomorrow, the Broadfield Stadium match offers Foyle’s men a chance to make up ground on their play-off rivals.

The Minstermen chief said: “You always look at the other fixtures and we can close a gap, but we could do with everybody being all right. Tomorrow will also be a very close game because they are decent at home and don’t change their game for anybody.

“At least after Crawley, we have two home games against Chester and Ebbsfleet that we must look to get maximum points from.”

Left-back Chris Carruthers’ loan spell from Oxford will expire after tomorrow’s game, but Foyle has not indicated whether he intends to extend his stay.

He said: “I’ll discuss Chris’ situation with Chris Wilder at Oxford when we get this game out of the way.” Meanwhile, City’s top scorer Richard Brodie has been called up to the England ‘C’ squad for next month’s international against Poland, as reported yesterday.

Eleven-goal Brodie, who has been named in a 16-man party for the game at Grodzik-Wielkopolski near Poznan, will withdraw from the squad, however, if City draw with next weekend’s FA Cup first round opponents Crewe Alexandra.

A replay would then clash with the match, which is due to be held on Tuesday, November 17.

Crawley (probable): Raynor, Rusk, Broadhurst, Quinn, Rents, Smith, Hutchinson, Pinault, Cogan, Forrest, Louis. Subs: Ademeno, Wilson, Malcolm, Willock, Jordan.

Referee: Kevin Johnson (Somerset).

Kick-off: 3pm.