Worthington is keen to face Pompey challenge

Nigel Worthington says the visit of Portsmouth today is a fixture for the Minstermen to relish.

York City manager Nigel Worthington.

Five years ago Portsmouth were celebrating breaking the trophy stranglehold of the top four clubs in English football after winning the FA Cup at Wembley.

Now, though, having fallen on the hardest of times, the south coast club have plummeted three leagues and find themselves in the basement division alongside a York team who – when Pompey were playing the likes of AC Milan in European competition – were competing against names such as Kidderminster and Kettering on a regular basis.

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But despite that history, Minstermen manager Worthington believes his side will get nowhere today if they pay their opponents too much respect.

“Portsmouth are in this league for a reason but, make no mistake about it, they have got some quality players and it will be a great game to be involved in,” said the former Northern Ireland manager.

“When you are playing against these clubs, though, you have to lose yourself in the game and enjoy it because, in big matches, you need big players to show what they can do.

“This is a great game to be involved in against such a big club. We have to lose ourselves to it and show the qualities we possess.

“Every game is a challenge regardless of who you are playing but the players have just got to go and relax. It’s good to go into it having stopped the rot by getting something on the board at Wycombe. I was really pleased with our level of performance.”

This is only the 11th meeting between York and Portsmouth in history with the previous fixtures all coming between 1974 and 1980, when the two clubs were in the bottom two tiers.

Worthington has extended the loan spell of Ryan Brobbel from Middlesbrough with the transfer window acquisition having impressed so far.

“He has done very well and I am pleased with him. He has added something to us,” said Worthington. Brobbel, 20, made his York debut at Exeter last month.

York’s home game against Scunthorpe on October 13 has been postponed due to international call-ups with Sander Puri (Estonia), Josh Carson (Northern Ireland) and Chris Kettings (Scotland Under 21s) away.