Belfast Telegraph

Worthington's hard line has got York looking up

BY Mark Walker

York City manager Nigel Worthington's success has come as no surprise to Fleetwood striker Iain Hume who goes head-to-head with his former boss in the League Two play-off semi-finals tonight (7.30pm).

Worthington, in his first full season at Bootham Crescent, admits the Minstermen are ahead of schedule following a barnstorming run during the second half of the season which has lifted them to the brink of promotion.

The former Northern Ireland manager's no-nonsense approach steered York from relegation danger into the final play-off place at a canter and only two defeats since the turn of the year suggest there will be little to choose between his side and big-spending Fleetwood in the first leg at Bootham Crescent.

York launched their current 17-game unbeaten run with a 2-1 win at Fleetwood in February and Hume is hoping his own insight can help to give Graham Alexander's side the edge.

"I know their manager, Nigel Worthington's a good manager and he'll definitely have them working hard," said Hume, who has scored one goal in eight appearances for Fleetwood since arriving on loan from Preston in March.

"I had him at Leicester for 15 games (in 2007) and he didn't half have us working hard.

"He kept us up in the Championship and we know what's going to happen.

"He was brilliant. He took training, he got involved in training every day.

"He came into a squad of players that had a habit of losing and he came in, changed it and kept us up.

"It was all football-based, when Nigel came in it was, not in a bad way, regimental.

"He was like, 'We're doing this, we're doing this and we're doing this', and stick to that and we'll get out of this and we did.

"He'd come out with his whistle round his neck and he'd take you on the warm-up and he'd go hell for leather round the training ground. Everyone hated it, but they were ready for training so the benefit was there.

"He's one of the managers I haven't got a bad word to say about."

York, promoted back to the Football League after an eight-year absence in 2012, are bidding for a fifth Wembley appearance in just over five years.

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