York City v Stevenage: Minstermen manager Jackie McNamara looking to make early impression

A SIGN of how perilous York City's position has become is that even victory today might not be enough to move off the bottom of the Football League.

Lubomir Satka.
Lubomir Satka.

The Minstermen are three points adrift of nearest rivals Dagenham & Redbridge, who are without a game due to scheduled opponents Carlisle United being involved in FA Cup action.

However, the Essex side boast a goal difference that is two goals superior so even a narrow triumph at home to Stevenage might not be enough to take Jackie McNamara’s men off the foot of the League. Yeovil Town – who travel to AFC Wimbledon – complete the bottom three but York would require a seven-goal swing to leapfrog the Somerset club.

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Nevertheless, the Scot – who yesterday welcomed Newcastle United defender Lubomir Satka to the club on loan – admits that the visit of a side in similarly poor form as his own is one that ticks all the boxes of ‘must-win’.

“I would say it is a must-win game,” said McNamara ahead of taking on Teddy Sheringham’s men at Bootham Crescent. “We need to win. It is not our downfall if we don’t but it is important in terms of mentality and confidence.

“We have to start on the front foot. Get about them with energy and cause them problems. We have to get about them in the right way, rather than wait for them to come and attack us.

“There are 20 games left and this is a crucial game. We need the three points.”

Stevenage will arrive in Yorkshire on the back of a wretched run of seven winless games.

Like McNamara, Sheringham, in his first managerial post after taking charge in the summer, has moved out players surplus to requirements with Mark Hughes and Jamie McCombe having departed in recent days.

As for York, 20 year-old Satka has gone straight into the squad after becoming the latest youngster to arrive at York.

The utility player joined Newcastle in 2012 and made his senior debut a little over a year ago in an FA Cup tie against Leicester City.

He was followed into the club by former Hibernian striker Derek Riordan, who had been training with the Minstermen.

McNamara has been impressed by the 33-year-old, who brings some much-needed experience and knowhow to a squad whose average age has dropped since Russ Wilcox left.

Last six games: York City LWDLLD, Stevenage LLDLLD.

Referee: J Simpson (Lancashire).

Last time: York City 0 Stevenage 2; January 17, 2015; League Two.