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Penney on 'massive' week ahead

By Ian Appleyard | 12th April 2018

Striker Alex Kempster and midfielder Simon Heslop have both returned to training today as City prepare for a 'massive' week in the club's season.

The Minstermen, who are currently seventh in Vanarama National League North, visit Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm) for the first of three games in the space of eight days which could shape the destiny of the campaign.

Kempster has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury while Heslop missed Tuesday's 1-0 defeat at Nuneaton Town with a groin strain.

Speaking to the media at lunchtime, Sporting Director Dave Penney confirmed that both players are back in the running to play in Saturday's game.

"Alex has trained today which is great news," he said. "He's a bit of a physical presence when you look up top and he is a good player.

"Simon is also back training and that's another body to come back who brings a freshness and wants to make an impression."

Strikers Jon Parkin (knee) and Louis Almond (hamstring) are still sidelined but on-loan midfielder Alex Pattison is 'not a million miles away', according to Penney, after missing the last three games with a foot injury.

Looking ahead to this coming week's fixtures against Gainsborough, FC United of Manchester, and Leamington, Penney said: "It's a massive week. It's counting down. If we want to extend the season into May, we have got to pick points up.

"No two ways about it, Saturday is a massive game for us," he said. "We need to try and get three points, keep in the play-offs, try to build on that, try to get some momentum, try to get a few of the players back, and try and get a little bit of momentum ready for the play-offs.

"Gainsborough need points for differing reasons to us. This is what we want to be involved in. We are at the right end of the table, trying to achieve something."

Penney, meanwhile, stressed the need for 'continuity' at the club this summer when questioned about the future of manager Martin Gray.

"He's got a contract, I believe, until the end of next season so nothing changes with that. We are trying to build as a club," he said.

"Personally, from my point of view, there has been too much chopping and changing in terms of the management halfway through the season. I would like to think that we need a bit of continuity.

"Martin is a hard worker and has got a history of winning teams and getting promotion so, in my opinion, we should stick with that."

Watch the full interview with Dave Penney by clicking the link below:

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