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League Two

Nigel Worthington: We won't freeze

15 May 2014

York manager Nigel Worthington does not think stage fright will be an issue again when his side bid to overturn a 1-0 deficit on Friday in the return leg of their Sky Bet League Two play-off semi-final at Fleetwood.

The Minstermen forgot their lines in the first leg at Bootham Crescent on Monday night when former York winger Matty Blair returned to haunt his old team-mates with a 50th-minute winner.

Worthington conceded afterwards that some of his players froze on the big occasion as they tumbled to a first defeat in 18 matches, but the former Northern Ireland and Norwich boss is confident they will not get caught cold again.

"We've haven't got time to worry about things like that now," Worthington told Press Association Sport.

"This is the last chance. There is only one more bite at the cherry.

"We know exactly what we've got to do and that gives my players some focus.

"If we go about our business well we know we can make a real game of it."

Both sides were promoted to the Football League in 2012, Fleetwood for the first time as Conference champions, while York ended an eight-year exile via the play-off final at Wembley - where Blair struck their winner.

Graham Alexander's side just about deserved their slender first-leg advantage, playing the more enterprising football before withstanding a late second-half onslaught after York had thrown off their shackles.

But Worthington thinks Fleetwood could now have more doubts.

"It's very straightforward for us," he added. "We have to go and win the game, it's as simple as that.

"That might not be the case for Fleetwood. Do they go out and try and get another goal?

"Do they defend what they've got and look to pinch one on the counter?

"They have more questions to answer, but that's not my issue. We've got to make sure we start the game in the manner we finished on Monday night.

"If we do what we do well then we've every chance of getting to Wembley."

Fleetwood, in the ninth tier of English football in 2005, are bidding for a sixth promotion in 11 years, but boss Alexander said the job is not yet done.

"We were very controlled and professional in the first leg and deservedly took a lead out of the game," he told his club's official website.

"But like I've said in every interview this week, we still have work to do, without a doubt.

"They are dangerous opponents, they're a good team and we have to make sure we're just as good as we were on Monday night.

"We need to play the game as if it's 0-0 and if we do that, I think come the end of the 90 minutes the one goal will kick in.

"But we have to go into the game looking to win. I'm not one for sitting back and trying to defend a lead. "

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