York City v Carlisle: Home form will be crucial, admits York chief

A TALLY of just two league wins may underline that home comforts have been in short supply for York City this season.

Minstermen manager Russ Wilcox
Minstermen manager Russ Wilcox

But, with three of their main rivals in the relegation scrap still to visit Bootham Crescent this season, manager Russ Wilcox knows just how important hitting the winning trail on home soil is going to be to his side.

“I look at the games we have to come at home and several stand out,” said the York manager.

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“There are a few teams around us who have to come to us and if we could win all three of them then we would be in a good position.

“Taking points off others in trouble can be almost as important as getting the points yourself.”

The Minstermen host the first in a trio of three huge survival showdowns today when Carlisle United head to the Minster city.

Only goal difference separates York in 20th from the Cumbrians a place below, meaning victory today could prove pivotal during the run-in.

If City can collect all three points, it would set the Yorkshire club up for the remainder of a home programme that includes visits from 22nd-placed Cheltenham Town and rock bottom Hartlepool United.

“We beat Carlisle (3-0) earlier in the season but a lot has changed,” said Wilcox. “Half-a-team have come in since then at Carlisle.”

York top what looks to be something of a mini-league down the bottom of League Two with 36 points, two clear of Tranmere Rovers in the second relegation place.

With Mansfield Town six points clear of City in 19th place, many are tipping the relegation fight to be a five-way scrap but Wilcox believes several other team could yet be dragged in.

He said: “At the moment, it looks like five teams are involved in the fight but by 4.45pm (today) it could have changed. Put it this way, 42 points (Mansfield’s tally) is unlikely to keep anyone up.

“Mansfield, Oxford and a couple of others will all know that there is work still to do if they are to steer clear of trouble.”