Cup run can act as a spur for promotion-chasing York City

YORK CITY manager Martin Foyle hopes the club's FA Cup success can inspire a return to the Football League.

The Blue Square Premier side reached the third round of the competition for the first time in eight years before losing to Premier League side Stoke City at the weekend.

With an extra 140,000 in the coffers as a result of the campaign, Foyle will also be able to strengthen his side and winger Chris Carruthers has already agreed a permanent deal after impressing on loan from Oxford United.

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Attention will now switch back to the league with York third in the table and seeking an eighth consecutive league win away at Altrincham tomorrow night.

Foyle said: "I told the players afterwards 'Look, if we can't take that into Tuesday, there has got to be something wrong.' We are disappointed but we won't have to lift the players.

"Hopefully, they will have their dream of playing in the Football League because some of them are certainly capable of doing it.

"The league is definitely our priority," he added. "We are third, the results seem to be going for us and, hopefully, we will bounce back straight away.

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Foyle, meanwhile, defended the club's decision to travel to Stoke via coach on the day of the game.

Bad weather and heavy traffic on the motorways held up the York players and delayed Saturday's kick-off by 30 minutes but Foyle said: "The coach set off at 10.15am, which should have been ample time to get here – but there were a couple of crashes, the weather came down, and we got told the A50 was closed the other side so we couldn't come off that main road.

"Unfortunately, it was one of those days when everything happened against us. I know some people say we should have come down overnight but we went by what was on the agenda at the time.

"It did disrupt things a little bit, the players only had half-an-hour to warm up, but on the bright side, they didn't have time to think, to go looking around the pitch, and start worrying about Stoke City.

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"I am not using that as an excuse," he stressed. "Stoke were great about it, the referee was fantastic, and it's not an excuse."

Stoke manager Tony Pulis paid tribute to York's players and supporters after the game, saying: "The York players were a credit to their club and to bring 4,000 supporters down here is fantastic.

"It is a tribute to the FA Cup," added Pulis, who, having made widespread changes to his starting XI for the Carling Cup this season, had paid York a compliment by naming a strong side for the third-round tie.

"We in the Premiership sometimes under-value the competition because of the money associated with the Premiership – but we are a very special country in respect of having so many football clubs, both professional and part-time, and the glamour of the Cup has brought so many people to watch them play at Stoke," he added.