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Whittle focused on City's target

By Ian Appleyard | 25th August 2017

Defender Alex Whittle is enjoying his football and wants to help York City get back into the National League.

Speaking ahead of the club's Bank Holiday weekend fixtures against Southport and FC United of Manchester, Whittle stressed the importance of maintaining a positive start to the season.

City, who are currently sixth in the table, visit Whittle's former club Southport tomorrow (kick-off 3pm) before hosting FC United of Manchester on Monday at Bootham Crescent (kick-off 3pm).

"We have had a good start and we have got to keep it going," said the Liverpool-born leftback. "I think we are gelling good now and things are coming together well so, hopefully, we can go there (Southport) and put in a good performance."

Whittle spent two months with Southport at the end of the 2015-16 season and helped the club avoid relegation to National League North.

"I had a good time. I was only there two months but we stayed up," he reflected. "I could have signed (permanently) there but York came in and I signed for York."

Whittle believes his former employers are likely to be one of City's main rivals in this season's National League North promotion race.

"They will definitely be up there or thereabouts. They have got a good spine and plenty of experience," he said.  "I think we have dominated most games but York is a big club so it should expect that anyway. But I think Southport will be up there. Definitely."

After a period of uncertainty surrounding his own future this summer, Whittle has started all five first team games this season and is happy with his form.

He admits that he prefers playing as a rightback in the current 4-3-3 formation, rather than as a wingback in a 3-4-3, but is still looking for his first goal in a City shirt.

"I am getting better with every game," he said. "It takes a couple of games to get into it and we are still only five games in but I am hoping to get better and better.

"I don't mind playing wingback but, for myself personally, I do think I play better when I do play fullback," he said. "I think I know that position better; when to go forward and when to defend.

"As long as we’re winning games I’m happy, but I’m still hoping I can get a couple of goals. Normally, I get one good goal a year, but I’ve not been scoring for some reason? It might be down to those Jako balls!”

Outlining the reasons why he opted to stay with the club this season, Whittle said:  "It was the ambition I think. Staying full-time was a big thing too and training every day.

"It's a good city with good fans and I am comfortable living here," he added. "Sometimes, when you move club and you move away, it doesn't always work out well for you, does it?

"I am playing and I am enjoying my football. It's good that I did have interest from clubs - I must have been doing something right - but I just want to get York back in the Conference (National League) and take it from there."

Watch the full interview with Alex Whittle by clicking below:

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