As an Oxford United fan living in York, the upcoming game on Saturday was one of the first I looked out for when the fixtures were released. Many of my closest friends are York fans and I’m no stranger to accompanying them in the David Longhurst stand myself as well as away days to Fleetwood and Alfreton last season. However, when it comes to York v Oxford, there is no question of where my support lies and that is with the Yellows! Ahead of Saturday’s game, I caught up with York fan Ian Jones and asked him a few questions for TBFUTH…
J: Firstly Ian, many thanks for agreeing to a few questions, it has been 8 long years since York City were in the Football League, how have the first three games been?
I: Firstly it's great to be back in the Football League where we rightly belong. Both our clubs know how being a league club has so many advantages on and off the pitch, so to be back is a great relief but the hard work starts now. Our first three games have shown gradual progression with us becoming sharper in front of goal and taking our chances, however if going forward is our strong point, the defensive side of our game is most certainly our weakness with much more work to be done if we want to be in with an outside chance of the playoffs.
J: You mention going forward is York’s strong point, which players you would say are the standouts in Gary Mills’ side?
I: With their current form there are three stand out players. Ashley Chambers and Michael Coulson have been constant threats on the wing, and also contributing goals, good enough to keep last season’s top goalscorer on the bench. The third would be the surprise form and exploits of Danny Parslow as a midfielder with 1 goal and 2 assists in the last two outings.
J: Moving onto Saturday’s game, it is eight games in the league since York beat Oxford (06/07 season, 1-0 York, Neal Bishop the scorer), what is your prediction for the game?
I: With us being shaky in defence and with injury of Chris Doig I can't see us keeping a clean sheet. I think a 1-1 draw would be a good result against one of the strongest teams in the league.
J: I'll take that as a compliment! What do you think this York City side can achieve this season, Mr Mills has stated promotion is his aim, is this a realistic possibility?
I: I believe he's maybe asking a little too much out of the current squad. I believe that Mills will get the best out of the players at our disposal but I think a mid-table finish is more likely
J: What’s it like being a York fan with bigger clubs such as Leeds attracting large support in the area? Has the return to the Football League made any difference?
I: Clubs like Leeds will always be a bigger club and have a much larger fanbase than us but you can already see that there has been a visible increase in away support for both Morecambe and Barnet, whilst our opening day attendance was our largest for over a decade.
Many thanks to Ian and I wish York the best of luck for the coming season, after Saturday of course!