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Knights players to pay for fans’ coach to Doncaster
BOSS Gary Thornton’s demand for his York City Knights players to make amends for the defeat at Keighley has already been acted on – after they pledged to pay for the supporters’ coach to Sunday’s game at Doncaster.
Thornton told The Press he wanted to draw a line under the 34-0 loss at Cougar Park, but not before issuing an apology to the Knights faithful who made the trek over the moors only to witness an “embarrassing” display.
And that apology was taken one step further late yesterday by the players, who agreed to foot the bill for the bus.
The move followed a conversation on Twitter between supporter Simon Hall and player Simon Brown. “We think its a great idea,” said Brown, who was one of the players not at fault, having been sidelined by a back injury.
“After last week’s performance the supporters deserve an apology, so the lads will be happy to all chip in to get the fans to Doncaster.”
Prop Matty Nicholson agreed, saying: “The supporters deserve much better and hopefully they will see that at the Keepmoat Stadium.”
Assistant-coach Mick Ramsden said: “We have a great chance to put right a lot of wrongs at Doncaster and it will be great to have as many fans as possible there cheering the lads on.”
Thornton is also looking for a positive reaction from his charges on the field of play.
“A decent following went over from York to Keighley and I would like to put an apology out to those people who travelled there,” he said.
“They spent hard-earned money to watch that and the performance was not acceptable. It has been reviewed and reviewed and on every viewing we look rubbish.
“We’ve had a heart-to-heart – the players have had a reality check. We went through the DVD tackle by tackle, or should I say missed tackle by missed tackle.
“We now want to draw a line under it. It’s up to the players to give a positive reaction in our next game.”
The Knights have seen crowds plummet since being one of the best supported sides outside Super League eight years ago, and Thornton has been eager since taking the reins to get the stay-away fans back.
However, while his team have picked up seven points from three home games this term, the continuing poor form on the road saw the supporters’ club initially cancel bus travel to the Keepmoat – such was the response from the fans who witnessed a lethargic display against a Keighley side previously without a win this term.
Victory this Sunday – at the scene of the club’s last away win, which came in the Northern Rail Cup some 13 months ago – will likely see the Knights regain a place in the Kingstone Press Championship play-off places.
Thornton added: “We should be comfortably in the top eight now but instead we’re a couple of points away from the bottom.
“I will give people the chance to put things right. It’s not easy to make changes anyway because we haven’t got the biggest of squads but we’re looking now for the right reaction.
“It was not an easy (training) session watching it back. One or two people got some home truths. But when we got out on the field it was excellent and we need to put things right on the pitch.”
Adam Sullivan had his long-awaited injection yesterday which will hopefully cure his long-standing knee problem, but he will now miss the next three games – Doncaster followed by the Easter double-header at home to Featherstone and away to Barrow.
Captain James Ford (groin) and Elliott (hip) remain doubtful this weekend but half-back Brown returned to training on Tuesday night.
Sunday’s supporters’ coach will stop at its usual pick-up points – The Ainsty, Clarence St and Huntington Stadium – at times to be confirmed. To book seats, phone 07763121732.