York City: Chris Carruthers interview

Regular football, a new pad in Acomb and a possible ticket to promotion with York City – Chris Carruthers has got it made following his move from Oxford United.

And now the 26-year-old is eyeing the last laugh against his former club in the play-offs, en route to the Football League.

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Carruthers, who can play in defence or midfield, first joined York on loan last September after failing to find first-team football with the Us. Oxford's loss has been City's gain, the Kettering-born ace impressing enough to earn a permanent deal at Bootham Crescent in the new year.

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Now Carruthers and his former side are on a collision course, with Oxford and York both guaranteed places in the Blue Square Premier play-offs and highly likely to finish third and fourth, meaning a two-legged semi-final against each other.

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And Carruthers – thriving on life in Yorkshire and sharing a temporary pad in Acomb with team-mate Djoumin Sangare – is more than hopeful his men would come out on top.

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Reflecting on his move to York thus far, Carruthers said: "It's been brilliant. I've enjoyed playing regularly and obviously the results have been going well and the team has been going well.

"The manager has assembled a good squad of players, we are looking very strong and I am pleased all round.

"It was another good result for us on Tuesday night and everyone is pleased to be in the play-offs.

"Hopefully, we can keep doing well and get ourselves promoted.

"The mood is brilliant and it's been brilliant all season to be honest – I think that's one of the reasons why we are where we are.

"We are in the play-offs now so everyone is looking forward to them and hopefully getting to Wembley and winning them."

If they so desired, Carruthers and co could have been forgiven for taking their foot off the gas recently, a play-off place having been guaranteed since victory against AFC Wimbledon at the beginning of the month.

However, York's versatile ace feels it's imperative that his men finish as strong as possible ahead of the end-of-season lottery. The former England under-20 international also knows finishing fifth would mean a two-legged tie with form side and goal crazy Luton Town – not something he desperately desires. Oxford, while it may be his former stomping ground, appeals more.

"It is obviously nice to have made sure we have got in the play-offs but there is still pressure on," said Carruthers. "We want to make sure we get a good run-in and are in good form going into the play-offs because I think it's important that teams finish strong. The teams that finish strong, normally go on to win it.

"It's important that we keep winning and hopefully get that fourth spot as well.

"Luton are looking very strong and I think I would fancy ourselves probably more against Oxford if we get them there and take Luton or whoever at Wembley."

On the prospect of facing his former side, Carruthers went on: "It would be tough if we came up against Oxford but obviously it would mean a bit more.

"It's a nice place to play as well, there will be a big crowd, a decent pitch and it's all good. It's all to look forward to."

Carruthers certainly looks forward to life on a daily basis following his move north and the former Northampton Town and Bristol Rovers ace has not even had to relocate from hometown Kettering.

City have paired Carruthers and fellow York star Sangare in a house in Acomb to live in during the week, and the Minstermen's recruit from Oxford even has a companion to travel back home with on weekends in Luke Graham, who is also from Northamptonshire.

The arrangement is unsurprisingly suiting him just fine.

"I stay up during the week normally in a house that's in Acomb and it's not too far from the training ground or the ground so it's a great location," he said.

"Me and Jimmy stay in the place together – the club sorted us out.

"He's a good lad Jimmy, a nice bloke and there can be no complaints at all with that!

"I go back to Northampton at weekends and I've got Luke Graham as well who I travel back with.

"We travel back together so it's worked out quite well really."

And now Carruthers is seeking the final piece of the jigsaw in promotion back to the Football League – something he insists from the start he knew could be on the cards.

"That was one of the main reasons why I signed here really," he said. "I thought they had good potential to get back into the Football League with a good squad of players.

"To get back into the League would be brilliant and I think the club deserve to be in there. Saying that, there are a lot of other clubs in this league now with Football League potential – it's a tough league

and fingers crossed we can do it."