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Gaffer's verdict on Oakham victory

26th July 2017

YORK City manager Gary Mills was highly satisfied with the team’s performance in Tuesday night’s friendly victory at Oakham United.

The Minstermen despatched the United Counties League Division One side with the minimum of fuss, scoring nine goals without reply, to bring the curtain down on a four day ‘training camp’ in the Rutland area.

Back-to-back wins against Grantham Town and Oakham in the last four days have boosted confidence ahead of the final pre-season friendly of the summer against Notts County at Bootham Crescent on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

However, Mills stressed that his main focus has always been the opening National League North fixture against AFC Telford United at Bootham Crescent on Saturday August 5.

“We have tried to mix pre-season up with some tough games and some easier games ‘on paper’, if you like. Either way, whoever you are playing, you have to go about it and prepare yourself in the right way and we have done that,” he said.

“But whatever pre-season is all about, we are preparing for a week on Saturday. That’s what it’s all about,” he added.

City’s visit to Oakham, who operate four tiers further down the English football pyramid, attracted a gate of 167 to a tiny venue which is situated within the grounds of a former stately home.

It was the first time that Oakham had played host to any club with a proud Football League history and the attendance was nearly four times their match average last season.

“I think it is lovely to come to a club like this. I absolutely do,” said Mills. “Hopefully, it’s not only us getting something out of it, but they have as well.

“It’s a nice little club - very, very friendly,” he said. “For them, it was a big game. It’s nice to show a little bit of respect back to them, for what they have given us in the last few days. The people of Oakham. It's lovely.”

Summer signings Michael Rankine and Josh Law both scored twice for the Minstermen with Kaine Felix, Connor Smith, Simon Heslop, Jon Parkin, and Alex Whittle also on target.

Reflecting on the performance, which came one week after an 8-0 home defeat by League One title favourites Blackburn Rovers, Mills said: “We have gone one better than losing last week, 8-0. It’s nice to bounce back 9-0!

“It is a good work-out for the lads, it’s about fitness, and getting to know how we are going to play a little bit. I thought it was good. When you score a few goals, it sometimes becomes more difficult to keep the tempo going but I thought we did that.

“A few players needed a few more minutes than others - because they have not had too much – and we needed to see a couple of players in certain positions and what they are about. I just thought everybody went about their jobs very, very well.

“I have put a squad together where, no matter who is playing, I think they are going to give us absolutely everything and we know what we are going to get.”

Watch the full interview here:


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