NIGEL WORTHINGTON is hoping a pre-season programme packed full of high-class opposition will help York City start strongly today.
The Minstermen’s chief hand-picked a list of clubs that included Premier League Hull City, Championship duo Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest plus League One favourites Sheffield United.
City beat the Blades but lost against the other three and Worthington insisted he was delighted with the application shown by his players.
He is calling on York to take that momentum into today’s opener at newly-relegated Tranmere Rovers.
Worthington said: “Playing a team that has just gone down a division can bring a bit of an extra challenge. They have League One players and will have a point to prove.
“But, from our perspective, we are looking forward to it. We designed pre-season in such a way that we would be ready for a challenge.
“We played Premier League, Championship and League One teams. All brought their own qualities and those games were good tests.
“As a group – staff and players – you find out a lot more from playing that standard of team and I was really pleased with what I saw.
“The work ethic, the team spirit and the shape of the team were all excellent and the hope is that facing quality opposition like that can help us hit the ground running.
“Of course, the acid test is whether we can take that into the new season but I sense that the players feel confident.”
York had a stunning run to the play-offs last season but Worthington insists today is a new start. He said: “The hard work starts again now and we are ready for it.”