Minstermen buoyed for a festive challenge

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GARY MILLS is calling on his York City side to use the packed Christmas and New Year schedule to launch an assault on the play-offs.

The Minstermen have enjoyed a solid start back to life in the Football League and have claimed 30 points from 22 games.

With four games in 12 days, Mills believes a good run would propel his side up the table and open up the possibility of a promotion push in 2013.

He said: “We have four games and 12 points available. It is important we stay in and around the top seven because we want to really push for the play-offs.

“Christmas can always make a big difference to a team’s season. Going into the Gillingham game, we are only a few points off seventh and it would be great to cut that significantly over the next few games.”

City welcome leaders Gillingham to Bootham Crescent and then face back-to-back away games at Chesterfield and Fleetwood Town before kicking off 2013 with the visit of Burton Albion.

It is a demanding schedule against four in-form teams, but York will go into the holiday season buoyed by the manner of last week’s demolition of Bristol Rovers.

A 4-1 win in which all the goals were scored in the first half saw York effectively put the game to bed before half-time for the second time in three outings after scoring three goals without reply at Rochdale on December 1.

Mills said: “To start two of the last three games so well and, above all, get the goals our play deserves has given everyone a lot of confidence.

“There have been a few times this season where we have gone in at half-time at 0-0 and I’ve thought, ‘We should have two or three goals here’.

“Now we know we can do it. Of course, it won’t be easy against Gillingham as they are a very good side. Their league position proves that.”

The win over Rovers, who sacked manager Mark McGhee within an hour of the final whistle, was only York’s third in 13 home games since winning promotion from the Conference.

Mills said: “I was particularly pleased that last week came in front of our home supporters. We haven’t got the results we wanted at home so it was nice to reward their support.”