NEAL ARDLEY insisted that he will continue to focus on the Vanarama National League despite York City’s history in the Isuzu FA Trophy.

York kick-off their FA Trophy campaign this coming Saturday, with a trip to Nantwich Town on the agenda (3pm).

Having won the competition twice and as recently as 2017, York and Ardley will be hoping to maintain their FA Trophy reputation, but not at the expense of the league.

“Now we’re out of the FA Cup there are only two competitions, and the league is absolutely our priority,” Ardley asserted.

“My only issue with the FA Trophy is that the further you go into the competition, the more games you have cancelled.

“It starts to take precedent and that bothers me because you start to have midweek games and end up at a disadvantage for doing well in the cup.

“Whereas with the FA Cup the financial rewards of it are that great and the excitement is that great, that’s my problem with this competition.

“But I’ve got to two semi-finals in it and a quarter-final with Solihull, so at the end of the day you can’t ever go into a game of football not wanting to or not trying to win it.

“It’s like the FA Cup once you get through the fourth qualifying round, once you get to the second round it becomes exciting.

“Whereas here you try to get through the early rounds before you realise that you’re two or three games away from Wembley and the excitement starts to come.

“This is all about going into Christmas in a good place. It’s a chance to have a look at one or two that have been knocking on my door and want minutes. Whatever happens we will try and win the game.”

Ardley also reflected on the week of training after exiting the Emirates FA Cup to Wigan Athletic last Friday, laughing at the Tics’ third round draw with Premier League giants Manchester United.

“We could have had Manchester United at home!” Ardley said.

“When we looked at what we had available with the cup ties and the injuries, we needed to be into the game and make sure we were going into the last third of the game still in it.

“We knew that to do all of that, not only did the boys have to execute the game plan, but we needed to not make a mistake at one end and then take the chances at the other end.

“We made a cup tie of it, and I suppose if we take some confidence from that, then it’s a good thing.

“I picked the team that I thought could execute the game plan last week. "e needed a midfield that was industrious and could do that hard yards.

“We sacrificed a little bit of the flair for that, but there’s going to be another game, whether that’s Saturday's game or later, where we will need different qualities.

“This game coming up on Saturday, there will be a few that haven’t had the minutes or the opportunity when coming back from injury to build up their minutes, so players that sort of need to say ‘I’m up to speed and can do what you want me to do’.

“We’ve got everything out of it physically that we wanted. Hopefully we can go into Christmas in a good place physically.”