York City v Barnet: New faces offer hope for Minstermen boss Jackie McNamara

York City loan signing, Lewis Alessandra, in action for 'parent' club Rochdale against Sheffield United last October. Picture: Sport Image.
York City loan signing, Lewis Alessandra, in action for 'parent' club Rochdale against Sheffield United last October. Picture: Sport Image.
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JACKIE McNAMARA believes the arrival of loanees Lewis Alessandra and Scott Bennett can help kick-start York City’s floundering survival bid.

The Minstermen are in grave danger of dropping out of the Football League after a horrible five-game losing run left the club five points adrift of safety.

Last weekend’s defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge was a clear nadir, not least because it was the Daggers’ first win on home soil all season.

In an attempt to lift his flagging side, McNamara has again turned to the loan market to bring in Alessandra from Rochdale and Notts County’s Bennett.

The duo take the number of loan signings made by York this season to 17, a dozen of which have been brought in since McNamara succeeded Russ Wilcox in November.

Crucially, the two new arrivals have experience with 27-year-old Alessandra, in particular, having been brought in to help out Bradley Fewster, who despite York’s travails was still named League Two’s player of the month for February after netting five goals.

McNamara said: “Lewis is someone who plays on the front foot. He looks to make things happen, rather than wait for something to drop to him. That is why we have brought in Lewis. We need the ball to stick up front.”

Alessandra found the net 13 times last season for Plymouth Argyle but has found opportunities limited since joining Dale last summer.

Bennett, meanwhile, can play in either midfield or defence. His chance may come today due to Russell Penn being suspended following his red card at Dagenham.

Explaining why York had turned to experience after bringing in mainly young loanees under his stewardship, McNamara added: “These players weren’t available back then.”