By Tony Leighton
York City manager Nigel Worthington will be looking to build on the momentum gained in the closing weeks of last season when he sends his team out to start the new League 2 campaign next month.
When the former Blackpool, Norwich City and Northern Ireland boss took charge in March, the Minstermen were in serious danger of relegation in what was their first season back in The Football League after eight years as a non-league club.
But Worthington quickly turned the situation around and, with four wins in an undefeated six-match run-in to the end of the campaign, a 17th-place finish - four points above the drop zone - was achieved.
As he looked ahead to the 2013/14 season with a backward glance to last term, Worthington told football-league.co.uk: "It took a lot of hard work from everybody concerned to get us out of the difficult situation we were in.
"For me, at the start, it was about getting through to the players what I wanted and putting belief into the group. And the terrific run we then had was not just very pleasing but also a marker of what we're capable of.
"After the end of the season we released a lot of players because I felt it was important to have a re-vamp, and with the new players we've signed added to the ones we kept I believe we can do quite well in this new season."
The additions to Worthington's squad intriguingly include Estonian Sander Puri, little-known in England though he ended last term in Scotland with St Mirren after spells with clubs in his native country, plus Greece, Poland and Finland.
"Sander's a 25-year-old midfielder with 52 international caps," said Worthington. "I first came across him when I was watching Northern Ireland opponents in a qualifying campaign and he also caught my eye when he played against us.
"When I was made aware early in the close season that he was a free agent I moved quickly to sign him and I'm delighted to have brought him to the club. He's a player who I'm sure the fans will enjoy watching."
As well as providing players for the fans to enjoy watching, Worthington is aiming to enjoy himself back in club football after two-and-a-half years out of work following his four-year stint as Northern Ireland's manager.
Adapting back to the club scene has not been difficult, said the 51-year-old boss. "If you're a football person," he said, "It's a drill, and the daily routine of club management quickly came flooding back to me.
"I really enjoyed my first two months here and after signing a new contract I'm looking forward enormously to the new season. We've now got what I believe is a strong group of players who can take the club forward."
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