YORK City captain Chris Smith has insisted victories must take precedence over clean sheets ahead of back-to-back home games.

The Minstermen have now gone eight games since their last shut-out – October’s 0-0 draw at Southend.

But, while admitting centre-backs pride themselves on keeping the opposition at bay, Smith is placing more importance on improving this term’s home record of two wins from 12 matches.

The Minstermen host Bristol Rovers and Gillingham on the next two weekends and Smith said: “Clean sheets are what defenders are there for but we will take the wins.

“Three points are three points so let’s get back at home and pick up our form there. Bristol Rovers will be tough, irrespective of where they are in the League, because they have some good players and a good experienced manager.”

Smith, pictured right, will also be looking for the side to compete better than they did during Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Plymouth.

He added: “It’s hard to say it as a defender and a player but I thought we were bullied (on Saturday). We know we can pass teams off the park but, if you get bullied out of a game, you get punished.

“Plymouth are a good, organised side who had clearly watched us against Rochdale and did not give us any time on the ball. We did not really adapt to that.”

Smith took partial responsibility for the first goal at Home Park when Jamal Fyfield put through his own net, while pointing out that the late second could be attributed to the switch to 3-4-3.

He said: “I should have cleared the ball before we conceded the corner for the first goal and then we did not defend it very well. We weren’t opened up in general play so that’s not good enough.

“For the second goal, Inghy made a great save and it fell to them. We were chasing the game by then and changing formations to systems we haven’t really worked on, which is not what the gaffer wants or the players want.

“We went more direct because there was only a little time left and you have to try to get a result.”

Smith is also hoping City’s home supporters get firmly behind the players this weekend after being surprised with the level of abuse directed at certain individuals at the end of Saturday’s game.

While sharing the fans’ disappointment, Smith pointed out: “The supporters came a long way for the match, whether it was from London or York and that’s fair play to them. They sang and we appreciate their support.

“At the end, we were going over to clap them and thank them irrespective of the result. There were a few booing and some fans were shouting stuff at certain players, management and staff.

“That’s what they want to do, but some of the verbals were a little harsh. They have every right not to be happy with the performance and we wanted to thank them for making the effort.

“They had probably spent a lot of money and I know it’s disappointing for them, but we feel it as well.”