Southend United v York City: Benchmark is set as York face tight battle

Russ Wilcox.
Russ Wilcox.
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FEW tears are likely to be shed by York City when 2015 bids farewell to January tonight.

A month that looked difficult on paper thanks to all five fixtures being against teams chasing promotion has proved to be just that with Russ Wilcox’s men having collected just two points so far.

York travel to Southend United, the fifth of those clubs chasing a place in League One, hoping to improve on that record but it won’t be easy.

Phil Brown’s Shrimpers are handily placed for a push towards the top three and have not conceded at Roots Hall in more than eight hours of football.

It is, in fact, five games since Southend’s defence was last breached – in the 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Conference outfit Chester in mid-November.

A crumb of comfort for the Minstermen, however, is that the Essex club have also found goalscoring difficult on home soil with just 11 in 13 games, something that points to today’s game being a tight affair.

Wilcox, whose side have collected more points on the road than at Bootham Crescent this season, wants his side to use last weekend’s battling 1-1 draw with third-placed Burton Albion as inspiration.

He said: “I told the players that they had set a benchmark for the last 19 games of the season.”

Today will be something of a gauge as to whether City have taken those words on board, though a better guide might be next month.

Home games against fellow strugglers Dagenham & Redbridge and Tranmere Rovers sandwich a trip to Luton Town, before York then travel to Northampton Town.

Three of that quartet of clubs are in the bottom half of the table, meaning Wilcox’s men will have a chance to start moving away from trouble.