DROP BATTLE WILL INVOLVE MORE THAN THREE – JAMES
YORK City midfielder James Berrett believes the battle to avoid relegation from the Football League may not necessarily end up being a three-horse race.
Heading into the New Year, Berrett’s old club, Yeovil, were propping up the rest on 14 points, with Dagenham & Redbridge in the other relegation place with 16 points.
York were above the dotted line on goals scored. As well as having 16 points, they had the same goal difference as the Daggers (-20), but had netted two more goals than the East London side (26 to 24).
Some pundits are suggesting the two to make the dreaded drop will come from the bottom trio, but Berrett (pictured below) doesn’t believe it’s cut and dried.
“It is too early to say that just the three of us will be involved,” said the 26-year-old. “There is always someone else who gets sucked into it.
“You don’t wish for anyone to go down, but it’s a difficult situation being down there with Yeovil.
“I enjoyed my time there, things just didn’t work out at the end, but I wish them well.”
The bottom three are showing signs of life – and that they are up for the battle.
The Daggers won 3-1 at Stevenage last Monday and now have the vastly experienced John Still at the helm.
Yeovil drew 0-0 at home against highflying Oxford United and have since appointed caretaker manager Darren Way on a permanent basis.
York drew 1-1 at Mansfield, building on a 2-1 home win against Morecambe in their previous outing, Berrett bagging what turned out to be the winner.
That ended a run of nine straight defeats in all competitions and has given manager Jackie McNamara, appointed two months ago, and his players renewed hope.
The Morecambe victory was actually former Celtic and Scotland defender McNamara’s first win since taking the reins. With yesterday’s clash between Newport County and Hartlepool United, the two sides directly above the bottom three on 20 points, postponed, it added extra spice to yesterday’s match between Yeovil and York.
But Berrett remains optimistic York will pull clear of danger.
“I think we were unlucky the week before we beat Morecambe at Bristol Rovers (York lost 2-1),” he said.
“A draw would have been a fair result, but I think that was actually the turning point in terms of performance and fortunately we were able to follow it up with a win.
“Since that win, there’s been a totally different atmosphere around the place.
“It’s always a lift when a new manager comes in. Anyone outside the first team suddenly feels like they have a chance again and if you’re in the team you want to stay there.
“Despite that, it’s tough to identify why results didn’t change for us immediately, but hopefully that is behind us.
“The manager chopped and changed the team and brought in some of his own players on loan.We all knew the results weren’t good enough, so it was a great feeling to get some points on the board.”
And Berrett is eager to chip in with a few more goals to aid the cause.
“We’ve got experienced players back after injury in Russell Penn and Luke Summerfield and that has allowed me to push on. They dictate the game and it gives me the freedom to support the strikers.
“I think we were missing that before, so if I can keep scoring that will be nice.
“I always want to score and get in positions to do so.
“I’ve not had much chance to do so, but I think we’ll be playing on the front foot now.”
If Berrett can add some more goals for the Minstermen, then there could be a few more League Two outfits starting to look nervously over their shoulders.