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Gaffer seeking greater consistency

By Ian Appleyard | 28th September 2017

YORK City manager Gary Mills insists that his players are good enough to win promotion and make further progress in this season's FA Cup.

City, who are currently seventh in Vanarama National League North, visit South Shields, the current leaders of Evo-Stik North, on Saturday afternoon in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup (kick-off 3pm).

Mills admits that his team has struggled for consistency this season but is hoping to bounce back with a victory after losing 2-0 last weekend at Harrogate Town.

"People have said numerous things to me since last Saturday. 'They looked like they wanted it more?' 'They looked like they had more desire?' We all might as well pack the game in - players, everybody - if we haven't got that.

"We are going into a game on Saturday, in the FA Cup, where we are going to work as hard as we can. You always want to try and work harder than the opposition because, if you do then, regardless of ability, you have got a chance of winning the game more.

"We have got to make sure we start the game well and we work harder than South Shields. Then, with the quality we have got, hopefully it's enough to get us through."

Reflecting on the campaign, Mills said: "We have had a season, so far, where we are talking about different reasons. Not taking chances we create, cutting out silly mistakes and, if you don't track people you are going to concede goals. That can't happen. I thought our decision making wasn't the best last week but it was one of those games and we have to take it on the chin and move on.

"There's no dip in confidence," he said. "Obviously, it's a different week this week because we have been on a run of three wins and a draw and we want to continue that. But, when you lose a game, things are different. You then have to bounce back.

"I gave the players a couple of days off," he said. "When we haven't got a midweek game, they are long weeks and we have to make sure that we rest up mentally as well as physically to prepare for the game on Saturday and that's what are doing.

"We have got a squad of players good enough to win at South Shields," he stressed. "But it's the FA Cup and you have got to make sure, when you go to somewhere like South Shields, that you are up for it, that you work harder than them, and that, whatever your job is in the side, you go out and make sure you do your job very, very well.

"We haven't been on a run this year. Until we got beat at Harrogate last week, we were starting to go on a bit of a run. But we have been knocked back with the result. We have got to start picking up results to get in that mental frame of mind to go and play against anybody.

"I have got a squad of players more than capable of going to win most games this season, if not every game," he insisted. "But we have to be at our best.

"We have had the odd game this year where we haven't been at our best and we haven't been consistent enough. So we have got to start getting to that consistency and mentality possibly like South Shields have got at this moment in time.

"I know we have got a squad of players that are good enough. I am just waiting for that consistency to start," he added.

"We are talking thin dividing lines here. Of taking chances, cutting out the silly mistakes. There's no doubt - and there's no point in hiding behind it - some players know that they can be playing better than probably what they are at the moment.

"All I will say is, I know I have got a squad of players here that are more than good enough to achieve what we set out to achieve this season. I think the frustrating thing at the moment is that we haven't really shown that on a consistent basis. But we are 12 league games in, we have got 30 league games left, and we are in the FA Cup on Saturday.

"Football is football and things can change day-to-day but I am certainly not a manager thinking we are not good enough to go and achieve what we set out to achieve to do season - because we are."

Striker Jon Parkin returns to the side after being omitted from last weekend's game against Harrogate but Michael Rankine is again ruled out on medical grounds and defender Josh Law (groin) is doubtful.

Watch the full pre-match press conference by clicking the link below:

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