Ex-Norwich City boss Nigel Worthington targets play-off glory at York
06:30 02 May 2014
Former Norwich City boss Nigel Worthington insists his success at League Two promotion hopefuls York City is no fluke.
The Minstermen have secured a play-off spot on the back of a 16-match unbeaten run and a club record 22 clean sheets during a remarkable turnaround since Worthington took over the struggling club back in March 2013.
Worthington suffered play-off heartache with Norwich at the Millennium Stadium in a penalty shoot-out defeat to Birmingham in 2002, but the ex-City chief knows what it takes in the promotion stakes after guiding the Canaries to the Premier League two years later.
York wrap up their regular league campaign against already promoted Scunthorpe this weekend and the Northern Irishman is bullish about his chances of joining the Iron in League One next season.
“We fully deserve a play-off place. We have not crept in by the back door,” he said. “We have two big (play-off) games to come and, as it stands, have a one in four chance of promotion, which is a nice feeling for everyone at the football club.
“The brief this season was firstly to make sure we stay in the Football League, secondly see how high we could finish and, thirdly, build for the next campaign but where we are at the moment isn’t a surprise.
“In the early part of the season, the majority of performances were good but we were picking up a point instead of three a lot of the time and those are the fine lines. We added one or two experienced players in January and they have been a big help but that should not take away from the efforts of the players that have been here all season.”
Worthington believes York will be seen as underdogs against big-spending Fleetwood, Burton and Southend United, who have Norwich academy prospect Jacob Murphy on loan at Roots Hall.
“We are the smallest club with the smallest budget and, whatever happens from here on in, what we have achieved has been absolutely outstanding,” said Worthington, speaking to the York Press. “With the club’s situation, I’ve worked hard to be financially stringent while getting the right players of the required level to try and help us move forward without putting the club in jeopardy. That’s always been important for me wherever I have been.”