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Martin pleased with progress

Photo by Ian Parker
By Phil Howden | 16th November 2017

York City manager Martin Gray spoke to the local media this afternoon at Bootham Crescent in his regular pre-match Press Conference.

The main topic on the agenda was Saturday's Vanarama National League North home fixture against Kidderminster Harriers, a side who are currently in 12th position in the table but only five points behind the Minstermen with two games in hand.

“We’re playing against a very good, strong Kidderminster team this weekend who use the ball well, make the pitch really big and work really well on the ball. We’ve got to make sure that we have a better shape and we don’t play an open game – which we didn’t plan to do by the way. We’ve had a great opportunity this week to work on that and hopefully, come Saturday, we’ll be a lot better for it.”

Last weekend was one of mixed emotions for the City boss as his team went home from the match at Alfreton Town with all three points, but there was a tinge of disappointment about conceding two goals in the 3-2 victory.

“I’d rather win 1-0 and be solid. We’ve got to have that mentality because I always feel like there’s goals in the team. I think from all players we’re likely to score goals but, equally, we’ve got to stop conceding soft goals. We’ve got to get that focus of being hard to beat.”

Since joining the club alongside Sporting Director, Dave Penney, a lot of hard work has gone in on the training ground to work with the current squad, plus some new additions, and get across a winning mentality. Getting the players used to the new management team and their way of working has been a big part of the past month or so.

“We’re here to win our next game, that’s what we’ve got to focus on. That’s the most important thing this weekend. It’s the winning mentality. Whatever we do on the training ground, there’s a purpose to it, and I think that becomes infectious. The players are getting exactly what we’re all about now. They’re a little bit more relaxed around us as well.

“It’s a new environment for the players when a new management team comes in and these players had worked with the previous manager at other clubs as well. So, it’s new for them, and I’m starting to see some really good results on and off the pitch. I can slowly see that getting better.

“We’ve had a really good week at the training ground. We’re just trying to get some stability now and settle things down. We’re in the market, there’s no question about that, but if we’re bringing in any players they’ve got to be starters. We’re not bringing in any squad fillers. They’ve got to be here to improve the starting eleven.”

A win against Kidderminster at Bootham Crescent on Saturday (kick off 3pm) would help City close what has now become a bit of a gap between themselves and fifth-placed Blyth Spartans, a team who York have already beaten this season and who visit the Minster City on Saturday 23rd December. It has been a long time since York City have had a consistent winning run, but Martin Gray insists that his new-look York side has got what it takes to sustain good results over a longer period.

“I’m used to winning and going on big runs in the past with my previous club. We’ve got to make sure, this weekend, that we give this crowd something to really be excited about. We are getting there and we will get there. We’ve got to make sure we back that up with a fantastic performance this weekend.”

Photo by Ian Parker

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