The gaffer ahead of York on Saturday...
Boro head to York on Saturday in fantastic spirits after picking up 13 points from the last possible 15. The timely run of form has seen Boro move up the table to just outside the play-off spots, however away from home results have been difficult to come by throughout the season.
There have been signs of improvement in the last two away trips though, after winning at Dagenham before picking up a point at Morecambe.
Speaking at his weekly pre-match press conference, GW made no bones about the weekend’s game being a difficult one.
“It’s a tough encounter, it’s a long journey up north and we know that over the course of the season we haven’t been good enough on our travels so we know we’ve got a lot of work to do to win more points when we’re making our journeys. We’ve spent the week focusing on getting ourselves right and making sure we go there in the right mind-set to win the three points and the football match.”
“They’re a side that hasn’t been at their best but have certainly improved under the new manager and we don’t underestimate the challenge that they’re going to present. We know they’ve won some big games against some top clubs in recent weeks and we know we’re going to have to be right on our mettle to win the points.”
The long-awaited return of Calvin Zola has been of much relief to everyone at the club after gaining minutes against Morecambe, Wimbledon and Boreham Wood recently. However, he’s still a long way off being fully fit and GW says patience is the key.
“He’s miles off as you’ll have seen when he plays and the only way we’re going to get him there is to cope with that, to tolerate it and to keep pushing him to be able to produce more. He’s not done any training of real note other than three or four weeks now since he’s been back from his various injuries.
“It’s tough; any player who’s been out for a long period of time will tell you it’s tough to get back in. You sometimes look as though you’ve never played the game before, you sometimes you feel like you’ve never played the game before, you sometimes feel like you’re never going to play the game again.
“It’s a horrible experience to be a player who’s been out on a long term injury and you have to as a manager, appreciate the difficulties that player is facing and make sure that everybody is understanding while a player sometimes can look as though he just doesn’t care or can’t do the job right.
"You can only produce what’s in your body and when it’s not in your body, it’s really tough. You’ve got to be really brave to get out there on the pitch, wear the shirt and play to sub-standard levels and you hope that people will bear with you whilst you’re getting yourself right and I’m sure before the end of the year he’ll be ready to make a contribution.”
Looking back at the previous meeting between the two sides, York won 3-2 at the Lamex in what was a rare home defeat for Boro. The victory for the Minstermen was their first of the season and despite having very good away form, at home they’ve been dismal with just one win all season.
“I think in fairness the game at our place is a representation of what they’ve tended to be as a side. They’re a better first half side than they are second half side, they were 2-0 up at our place and obviously we won the second half 2-1 with 10 men.
“We know that they are a better first half side than second half side; we have to be mindful of that and careful of that and ensure that we get on top of the game and stay on top of the game early. We know what they’re capable of, as I said new manager gets them playing in a different way. They’ll obviously be mindful of their home situation, they’ll have tried this and tried that to turn it around and I’m sure they’ll be trying things again at the weekend so we’ve got make sure that we’re not the side they turn it around against.”
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