York now have the character to secure survival

North Ferriby boss Steve Housham
North Ferriby boss Steve Housham
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REGARDLESS of how York City fare today, Christmas will arrive with the club sitting in the National League relegation zone.

It is a desperately disappointing state of affairs for the Minstermen, who had started this season hoping to bounce straight back into the Football League.

Despite that, Gary Mills believes there is an air of positivity returning to Bootham Crescent as the festive season approaches that, if harnessed properly, can lead to a charge for safety in the New Year.

“There are a few more smiles around the club,” said the York chief, fresh from ending the club’s 18-game winless run with an FA Trophy first round triumph over Worcester City.

“It was a few weeks coming but it was coming. I have had to make big changes and we have a few characters in there now. Those changes had to be made and I see us now as a team who can start beating teams.

“There is some positivity around the training ground and it is a case of onwards and upwards.”

York host Torquay United today sitting rock bottom of the fifth tier and four points adrift of safety.

“You look at the bottom eight and that is our aim, to get up to eighth from bottom,” said Mills. “First and foremost, though, we have to start with a win against Torquay. This is a big, big game. If we stick together, perform like we did in the last two games, then we can get the result.”

North Ferriby sit one place above York and the two clubs meet in a potentially pivotal double-header over the festive season on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Before that, though, the Villagers must make the long trip to Maidstone United. The Kent side triumphed in September against the East Riding but Ferriby manager Steve Housham is adamant his side can bounce back from last week’s disappointing Trophy defeat to National League side Alfreton Town.

“The lads are ready to bounce back and show what they are made of,” he added. “If we win (at Maidstone) we could be out of the bottom four at Christmas. That wil be my ideal present from Father Christmas. Me and the players are keen on showing a better standard.”

Ryan Fallowfield and Ryan Kendall have recovered from illness so Housham has a full squad to choose from apart from the injured Simon Russell.

Guiseley can give their own survival hopes a lift with victory at Woking, who sit sixth bottom and are just three points clear of the drop zone.