YORK City assistant manager Neil Cox is expecting a ‘difficult’ clash with Maidenhead United on Saturday, with the Minstermen targeting back-to-back victories in the Vanarama National League.

Cox’s side will be absent from National League action for two weeks running after the Maidenhead match, with York playing in both the Emirates FA Cup and Isuzu FA Trophy in the coming weekends.

The City assistant is expecting a tough match with Maidenhead and against experienced manager Alan Devonshire, with Cox sharing a great respect for the West Ham United legend.

“It’s going to be difficult, they are fit, strong and organised with a great manager,” Cox admitted.

“I’ve always liked him as a player, he’s done an unbelievable job there.

“The ball is going to come into your box and you’re going to have to defend your box really well, and have a little bit of a battle in midfield.

“They do play and they do get forward and put you under pressure, we’ve got to roll our sleeves up and put a performance in.

“Not just the back four or the two midfield players, but the whole eleven that plays.

“It’s going to be tough, but I think the way we reacted to the Saturday game on Tuesday night, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing but the way you play that gives you a little bit of confidence.

“We went back to a back four because Will (Smith) has gone back to Harrogate to just see how his knee is, changed a couple of personnel to freshen it up a little bit and I think it worked.

“It’s controlled aggression, we’ve got to go there and roll our sleeves up to fight for it.

“The second balls are always going to be important as well, and we have to play football.

“We can’t keep hitting it long, we need to get it down and play to whoever plays up front to make sure they get good possession. We go from there really.

“There is a big slope, I do believe that when we go there it will be interesting to see what the stats are for when we kick downhill in the second-half.

“There’s a benefit, so they’ll be looking for that, but there’s a goal at each end and you’ve got to get on with it really.

“I like going there, the atmosphere is really good and their fans are on top of you.

“Their manager is unbelievable, I do like him, he’s a really good character as well and he tells you before the game what he’s going to do.

“As a gentleman, he’s as good as they come. Everytime we go down there he makes the time to have a chat with you, he was a super player and I remember him really well.

“As a manager he has got the team organised, they’re fit, they’re strong, they do the job really well and they play more than people give them credit for.

“They’ve got some good players with a good work ethic and it’ll be a tough afternoon for us.

“We need to try and get three points if possible to try and push up the league because teams are going to be playing games.

“You’d rather a point on the board than playing catch-up, so it’s going to be an important week for us.

“We’re down there in a difficult position and we need to get ourselves out of it, it doesn’t matter if we are playing teams that are down there or the teams at the top, we need to get three points out of every game if possible.

“That’s what we try and do, but this is another one that will be a tough game away on a slope pitch, but we’ve got to roll our sleeves up and get on with it.”

Cox also explained the club’s plans prior to the match, and had a message for the travelling York supporters.

“We’ll travel down tomorrow morning, we’ll pick up the coach on the trip and at Birmingham City’s youth team, we’ll train there.

“We’ll have an hour and 20 minutes there going through the shape and making sure that everybody is alright, have a bit of lunch and get back on the coach down to wherever we’re staying near the ground.

“Get the boys organised, get looked after in the hotel, get fed properly and a bit of a massage too.

“We just appreciate them travelling down, getting nearer to Christmas as well it’s not easy financially.

“We really appreciate them and we’ll put the performance in that we put in on Tuesday night.”