York may learn defensive lesson from Plymouth

York City manager Nigel Worthington. ('Picture: Gerard Binks)
York City manager Nigel Worthington. ('Picture: Gerard Binks)
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A QUICK glance at York City’s results over the past few weeks reveals a glaring problem.

The Minstermen just can not stop the opposition scoring, with Nigel Worthington’s defence having been breached 16 times in their last seven games.

Worse still, York have kept just one clean sheet in their last 14 outings – something that has left Worthington feeling frustrated.

The City manager said: “Defending as a team has been a problem recently, as it has for much of this season to be fair. We have to be more switched on and we need to carry out the small details.

“Against Bristol Rovers last week, for instance, (when York drew 3-3) too many crosses were coming into the box. Then, when they arrived, we didn’t do our jobs properly to get rid of the danger.

“We have been working hard on the training pitch but we have to take it out on to the pitch.

“If we want a platform to build on this season then we have to be much more solid. We will score goals as a team, as we have proved already.

“But we need to start keeping some clean sheets. If we can sort that out then we will be okay.”

York’s ongoing defensive frailties are in stark contrast to today’s opponents, Plymouth.

The Devon club, managed by former Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday midfielder John Sheridan, are hoping to make it five clean sheets in a row.

During that run, Northampton and Mansfield have been beaten 1-0 while meetings with Newport and Lincoln City, the latter in the FA Cup, have ended goalless.

If Plymouth can extend that run of shut-outs at Bootham Crescent, it will represent their longest run of clean sheets since the seven they racked up in the 2003-04 season.

That run is likely to be tested by York, who have been pretty prolific in attack with the past five games having yielded 11 goals.

Worthington said: “I thought the performance at Bristol Rovers was decent. We also showed great determination and character to earn a replay. I was pleased with that aspect. It is just these goals conceded that are proving to be a blemish on our season.”

York were without a game in the last international break due to three call-ups, their home match with Scunthorpe being moved to October 29. This time, however, only Josh Carson and Ryan Brobbel are away, with the latter – a loanee from Middlesbrough – not counting towards the ‘three players missing’ rule that can trigger a postponement.

Last six games: York City LDLWDD, Plymouth Argyle DLDWWD.

Referee: S Stockbridge (Tyne & Wear).

Last time: York City 2 Plymouth Argyle 0; April 1, 2013; League Two.

SkyBet odds: York to win 6-5; Plymouth to win 11-5; Draw 12-5.