YORK City manager Martin Foyle is toying with the idea of recalling midfield craftsman Alex Lawless for tonight’s away clash at bottom-of-the-table Grays Athletic.

Lawless has missed City’s last seven matches after limping out of the action during the 1-0 home defeat against Eastbourne with a hamstring injury.

But he completed an hour for the reserves during a goalscoring return in last week’s North Riding Senior Cup semi-final at Northallerton and was an unused substitute for Saturday’s Blue Square Premier 1-1 home draw with Tamworth.

The Eastbourne result was the first of four consecutive defeats for the Minstermen, but Foyle’s team have since picked up eight points from a possible 12, including two wins and a draw from away matches against Kidderminster, Mansfield and Altrincham.

About the possibility of a recall for Lawless, who has provided more goal assists than any other player in the City squad this season, Foyle said: “He played 60 minutes in the North Riding Cup and has got a spring in his step, but I will have to decide whether we bring him back or not.

“We have played some good stuff in the last three games so, in some ways, you could say he hasn’t been missed too much but, in other respects, you could say he has been.

“I was maybe a little too critical of the team on Saturday because, even though the first half was not good enough, the second half was a lot better and we should have won the game. Our pitch is also a defenders’ pitch and suits negative teams. I just want us to get where we want to be as soon as we can and a couple more good results will mean we are nearly there.

“It would be fantastic to get three points at Grays before having a free Saturday. That might just panic a few teams in and around us.”

Despite Grays having failed to win a game for four months and lying 16 points from safety, Foyle is not expecting the Essex side to be pushovers.

Pointing to last week’s 2-1 defeat against Stevenage, when the league leaders only clinched victory in the 86th minute, the City chief said: “They will not be resigned to their fate yet but they have to beat us.

“We know they will have to come at us and they should have beaten Stevenage last week when they worked very hard and did not get much joy in front of goal.”

Foyle added that he has concentrated on improving his side’s attacking threat ahead of the Grays match.

The Minstermen have failed to score more than one goal in any of their last 16 matches with Michael Gash (15 games), Richard Brodie (11) and Michael Rankine (ten) all enduring long barren spells.

Fellow forwards Richard Pacquette and Kevin Gall did not make Saturday’s bench but the City boss stressed that both players were still in his first-team plans.

He said: “I don’t want to put any pressure on the strikers but everybody’s in my mind.

“We’ve been working on crossing and finishing with them because I want to see crosses going into the box and strikers scoring from them.”