The Minstermen currently sit bottom of the Football League on goal difference, perilously close to relegation with five points separating them from safety.
It is a different story, however, with Chris Wilder’s Northampton, as they lead a promotion race that is set to go down to the wire.
Just two points separate them and second-placed Plymouth Argyle, but with two games in hand, the title is surely the Cobblers’ to lose.
However, despite the odds being firmly against York, McNamara insists fans should not write off their chances too early.
“They are a well-organised side with good players who move the ball around well and it also sticks when it goes up front but, if we do things properly and stick to our gameplan, we can cause an upset,” he said.
“I want to raise the players’ belief and instill confidence and the pressure, expectations and demands will be on them because it’s top-v-bottom at their home stadium.
“But we drew at Carlisle and beat Stevenage, so we can build on those four points from the last six.
“We will look at their strengths and weaknesses and they have players who can hurt you.
“They have good movement in behind the strikers, so we’ve got to be switched on first and foremost and compact in certain areas, but we need to be able to go anywhere knowing we are capable of winning three points.”
Northampton hope to have new signings Danny Rose and Luke Prosser available for today’s game.