FA Cup: York City's TV date with Wigan can capture fans' imagination, says boss Neal Ardley

Jan Molby scores for Liverpool as York are finally brushed aside in the replay at Anfield
Fans would need to be in their late 40s to recall York’s tussles with Liverpool in the 1980s

York City can stir the memories of fans who might have lost touch with the club when they face League One side Wigan in Friday’s FA Cup second-round tie, says boss Neal Ardley.

The Minstermen fell out of the English Football League in 2016 and were relegated again the following season.

It took them five seasons to climb out of National League North, and Friday’s game puts York back in the limelight.

“The FA Cup has that ability,” Ardley told BBC Radio York.

“We’ve live on telly, terrestrial telly as well, so all of a sudden you’ve a wider audience.

“It’s a chance – not to put us on the map, because York is a wonderful city and a great football team – but it’s a chance to show we are still around and pushing in the right direction.

“We need our players to put a performance in to do that.”

York’s rich history already contains moments of cup folklore, including back-to-back defeats by Liverpool at the fifth-round stage, notably taking the eventual winners -and Kenny Dalglish’s double-conquering side – to a replay in the 1985-86 season.

Trying to emulate such exploits could be a burden for the crop of 2023-24, but Ardley – himself a semi-finalist with Wimbledon during his playing days – is keen to lighten any mental load.

Even this game, against a Latics side who won the cup as recently as 2013 during their Premier League days, is a test of their mettle against a side just out of the second-tier.

“I put myself under pressure, but not the team,” he continued.

“I just want to give them a way to win the game, give them clarity and make them believe they can without putting any pressure on them.

“But for myself it’s a challenge. We’re up against a good team, good manager and good players. I’ve got to find a way to make sure that we won’t be exposed by that, and we’re competitive and give them a good run.”


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