National League: Top five remains realistic target for York City, insists under-fire Jackie McNamara

JACKIE McNAMARA insists York City can still reach the National League play-offs despite a wretched start to the season.

York City manager Jackie McNamara. Picture Tony Johnson

The Minstermen make the short trip to Guiseley for tonight’s derby sitting just two points and two places above the relegation zone.

It is a desperately disappointing position for a club who were strongly fancied to bounce straight back into the Football League this term. A run of seven defeats in the last 10 outings has piled the pressure on McNamara, but he is adamant that the situation can be turned around.

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“The top five is still achievable,” said the Scot.

“But we have to be a lot more clinical. If the players weren’t fighting for it, I would be worried. But it is the little things not going our way.

“One goal will change the energy, lift the crowd, and then we won’t be too far away.”

York last won a game on the road 13 months ago, a statistic that has to give rock-bottom Guiseley hope going into the Nethermoor clash.

Connor Brown is set for his home debut as the Lions look to end their long wait for a first victory of the season at the 14th attempt.

Also occupying a place in the drop zone are North Ferriby United, who host Chester tonight looking to end their own barren run.

The Villagers have three wins to their name this term, but have scored just once in the last 741 minutes of football.

Curtis Bateson is out for Ferriby with a hernia problem, while Danny Clarke could also be missing with a foot injury.

Kyle Wootton is in line for his home debut.

Away from the league, yesterday saw the draw for the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup made and there is the tantalising prospect of a Yorkshire derby between FC Halifax Town and Harrogate Town.

The Shaymen will travel to the winners of tonight’s replay between Harrogate and FC United in the final stage of the competition before clubs from Leagues One and Town take part.

York will host Curzon Ashton on October 15 as Guiseley take on fellow National League side Lincoln City at Nethermoor.

North Ferriby have been handed a home draw against Macclesfield Town.