John Askey's pre-Southport press conference: The key quotes
York City manager John Askey (Photo: Tom Poole)

John Askey covered a range of topics with The Minstermen preparing to take on playoff rivals Southport in a key league fixture in National League North.

  • Team Fitness

With Josh King still on the sidelines, recovering from a broken leg, Askey discussed the rest of his side's fitness levels and how his players can be rested to manage their fitness.

"Everybody's fit... I rested Paddy (McLaughlin) against Dagenham, (Olly) Dyson the other night, Clayton (Donaldson), we have to be careful with.

"It's a fine balance, and the same with training - there's three or four who I give an extra day off because they do a lot of travelling, so it's just trying to prepare them best for the game on Saturday.

"The majority of teams in our league are not full time so at least we're rested properly so we have got an advantage, and they've got to realize going into the game, that going into the last 15-20 minutes, we've got to take advantage of that."

The City boss also shared some good news about former-Lincoln man Remy Longdon, who is starting to come back into the matchday squad following heart palpitations.

"Remy's back available, obviously he's getting fitter now."

  • Southport style of play

Having come across The Sandgrounders a number of times in the past, Askey talked about Port's style of play and how difficult it will be, travelling to a side who have only lost once on home turf in the league this season.

"I think Southport have got a certain way of playing. When you go there, whenever I've been in the past, there's always a strong wind blowing down the pitch which makes it difficult to play. 

"The way the pitch is, and how the wind howls down the pitch, then it can be a big benefit to the home team if they know how to play it.

"So it will be a completely different game (to Curzon), they like to get the ball from back to front and compete, so we know what to expect. They don't particularly get the ball down and play in certain areas. What they do is get the ball forward and then look to put it under pressure.

"The most important thing is to get hold of the ball and put one or two passes together. If you can do that and don't get embroiled in the way that they play."

  • Lacking up front

There were questions asked on how to get his strikers back in scoring form again as the majority of goals lately have come from the midfield department, and Askey seemed happy with the fact that his Minstermen had been scoring at all.

"Yeah, it's obviously an area where we've got to start producing more. But the main thing is, that we score goals, wherever they come from.

"We've been working on that with the wide men and now they can produce a little bit more."

  • Askey's final thoughts

"It's another big game for us, as they all are, and the most we can do is concentrate on that game. We've got a few tough games coming up, which all the players should be looking forward to."