SKIPPER Russell Penn has pledged to give his all to help York City get out of the League Two relegation mire - but recognises that "talk is cheap".
The 30-year-old talisman says Jackie McNamara's new look squad must fight to the end to claw out of the division's bottom two and has stressed the need to build on the draw secured at Carlisle United by taking a maximum three point haul at Bootham Crescent tomorrow against Stevenage Borough.
Asked about the club's current predicament, Penn, who with Michael Coulson are the only survivors in the first 11 from the team which narrowly failed to get to Wembley in 2014, said: "No player likes to be down there.
"I am willing to roll my sleeves up and fight. We have got 20 games to go and, if I can give my all and the players around give their all, we will have a chance.We have got to be a team and stick together. We need to be a really close knit bunch of lads for the next three months and give our all.
"At the end of the day we are bottom of the league. It doesn't matter what I say. Talk is cheap and we have got to do it on the field. It is all about results. There is no point battering Stevenage and coming away with nothing. We have got to be a little bit more ruthless, a little bit more threatening in front of goal.
"Our play is very solid but we need to be a bit more potent - from everywhere, whether that is set-pieces, corners, free-kicks or winning second balls. It is the whole picture."
Reflecting on the draw with Carlisle, where Luke Summerfield's late goal saw the Minstermen scrap out a 1-1 draw, Penn added: "It was a good point. It is one we would have taken after previous results and, without playing our best, we gritted and came away with something.
"But it is only a good point if we can get a result this Saturday. If we can get maximum points then that is four from two games and we are starting to pick up a bit of momentum."
Penn has watched on as new boss McNamara swept in and overhauled Russ Wilcox's struggling squad - ending the Minstermen careers of players such as Keith Lowe, Anthony Straker and Eddie Nolan.
Pleased to be in his plans, a philosophical Penn said the changes, although difficult, were ultimately necessary.
"It has been tough as a whole for the players that have been there from then to now," he explained. "There has been a lot of change - three managers, if you include Richard Cresswell, with their own ideas - and the gaffer has come in and got rid of players that he doesn't see that fit.
"He is going his way and I am in his plans with the other lads. It is great to know and we have to build from there. This is the team he wants to see it through the rest of the season. The squad has got down to a healthy number. It was way too big.
"It's not difficult. It just shows you how football is. From 18 months ago, to where the club is now, there are a lot of different players in the changing room and the turnaround at this level is massive.
"It has happened to me. I have dealt with it and it is part of football at this level.
"Things weren't going right with the old manager and staff. A lot of change needed to happen - behind the scenes as well as on the field - and a lot of people won't know the true extent of that until they are in a club.
"It is quite a big job for Jackie McNamara to have done."