A THEORY doing the rounds in Leicester is that Richard III has played a part in the city’s football club being the shock leaders of the Premier League.
Since the former monarch’s remains – unearthed by archaeologists in 2012 under a car park in the East Midlands city – were reburied at Leicester Cathedral 11 months ago, the Foxes have been on an unbelievable run, first to pull off a great escape from relegation and then become the unlikeliest title contenders in a generation.
York famously lost out to Leicester as the site of where Richard III should be laid to rest so maybe the Foxes’ gain has also been the Minstermen’s loss.
Certainly, as Leicester’s footballing fortunes have soared, York’s have headed in the opposite direction with the club locked in a fight for Football League survival.
Salvation, of sorts, has come with three consecutive home wins, the most recent of which – Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Exeter – saw Jackie McNamara’s men move out of the relegation zone for the first time in 2016.
The threat of a return to the Conference remains, meaning York need to back up that majestic form of late at Bootham Crescent with a regal display or two on the road, starting with today’s trip to Cambridge United.
“Cambridge away is a massive game for us,” admitted McNamara, whose side have taken just two points from their last nine away games. “It means a lot to be out of the bottom two. We kept saying the only way is up and it is. Those teams (above us) are there to be caught.
“We have had three wins in a row at home. It was important to make this a difficult place for teams to come. If we can now start winning away from home then we will be fine.”
York’s victory over Exeter brought the club’s first clean sheet since early September, a run that stretched to 23 games.
Another shut-out today at the Abbey Stadium would be a major boost to the push for survival, especially as York could welcome back top scorer Vadaine Oliver (hip) and Danny Galbraith (groin) following injury.
McNamara added: “I still think we can do a lot better. We need to move things quicker in possession.”
Last six games: Cambridge United LDDWWL, York City LDWLWW.
Referee: N Winseley (Essex).
Last time: Cambridge United 0 York City 3; March 3, 2015; League Two.