Minstermen eager to get back in action in quest for hat-trick

NOT so long ago, international breaks were the busiest time for Nigel Worthington.

During four years at the helm of Northern Ireland, the former defender’s work was built around the double-header of fixtures that are dotted through the autumn, summer and Spring of a typical season.

Now back in club management with York City, the 51-year-old found himself in the unusual position of not having a game last weekend when international call-ups led to his side’s home game with Scunthorpe United being postponed.

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“It was strange not to have a match,” said the Minstermen’s chief ahead of today’s trip to Newport County.

“But you just have to deal with every situation as it arises.

“We may not have had a game but we stayed focused on our jobs. We trained as normal, with the only difference being we didn’t have a game on the Saturday.

“I took the opportunity to watch Dagenham & Redbridge v Cheltenham because we play Cheltenham in a couple of weeks. A couple of the other coaches also took in games.

“We don’t usually have the luxury of being able to see opponents in person.

“We have to rely on our scouts for match reports and so on. Mind, as nice as that was, it will be good to get back into action this weekend.”

York travel to South Wales looking to make it a hat-trick of consecutive league wins after beating Portsmouth and Torquay United in their most recent outings.

Before that, the Minstermen claimed a creditable draw at Wycombe Wanderers.

Ahead of York’s first Football League visit to Newport since November, 1986, Worthington said: “We have been putting together a nice little run lately.

“Performances had been pretty good but we hadn’t got the rewards we deserved, and we all know that results are what matters.

“We have to keep that run going. It won’t be easy, though, as Newport lost last weekend (3-0 at Rochdale) and will be chomping at the bit to put that right. We will have to show that bit of grit and determination because Newport have had some decent home results. We are under no illusions as to how tough it could be.”

Worthington headed south with his squad yesterday having reported no fresh injury problems with the players who have been away on international duty having all returned fit.

Elliott Whitehouse, who since joining from Sheffield United on loan has made a central midfield berth his own at Bootham Crescent, has been given the blessing of interim Blades chief Chris Morgan to stay on.

The teenager’s initial one-month loan deal was extended by David Weir in one of his final acts as United manager before being sacked eight days ago.

A 24-hour recall clause was inserted in the deal and Morgan has told Whitehouse that he is happy for the midfielder to remain with the League Two club.

Today’s game is the first time the two clubs have met since the 2012 FA Trophy final when York completed the first half of a stunning double triumph at Wembley. A 2-0 win over Newport was followed eight days later by the Minstermen beating Luton to earn a return to the Football League after eight years in the Conference.