TO emerge unbeaten from a pre-season programme featuring three Championship clubs and a side who reached the League One play-offs is admirable.
However, as pleased as Nigel Worthington was with York City’s four draws against Leicester City, Blackpool, Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United, he is adamant about one thing – it will count for little today when the League Two season gets under way.
Worthington said: “The squad is very bright and bubbly, which is what you want going into a new season. We had a good pre-season, where things went extremely well and I felt we put in some very good performances.
“Now, though, it is a completely new ball game and all the results of pre-season will count for nothing. It is what we do from now on that matters and the players are fully aware of that.”
Northampton Town are today’s visitors to Bootham Crescent. The Cobblers ended last season amid a crushing sense of disappointment after losing 3-0 to Bradford City at Wembley in as one-sided a play-off final as Phil Parkinson could have wished to have seen.
Aidy Boothroyd’s side will be determined to make amends this term and York chief Worthington is anticipating a tough encounter.
He said: “I know Aidy very well and it will be a real tough footballing battle. We will have to be strong physically and match them in every aspect of the game.
“We need to start this season how we finished the last one, as I was pleased with all the effort that we put in during those final few matches.”
The York side that finished last season displayed an ability to scrap it out with League Two’s more physical outfits than had been the case back in August.
That mettle will again be tested today as City try to recapture the stunning form that brought 13 points from the final five games.
Worthington said: “I say it all boils down to two words. Hard work. If we are prepared to work hard then we can certainly get some good results.
“Obviously, everyone wants to get off to a winning start. And our home form will be vital. All successful teams are built on strong home form.
“I sense a real togetherness among this group and that is also going to be important.”