SEAN Newton admits that York City's inability to quickly adapt to life in National League North has shocked the players.

After retaining a number of last season's senior pros – including Newton himself – the Minstermen were eyeing the division's one automatic promotion spot ahead of the campaign.

Fast forward almost three months, and 16 games, and City are 15 points adrift of the summit and even outside the all-important top seven.

Saturday's 3-2 home defeat to Tamworth was another body blow to their promotion chances.

And Newton concedes that none of City's players expected to be sitting ninth in the table after a third of the season

"We're shocked and bitterly disappointed not to be right up there in the top one or two, but we're not going to get there just because we're York City," he remarked.

"Maybe we thought that we would just be able to turn up this year and beat teams, but there are some very good players at this level and some of them are using this division as a stepping stone to kick on.

"We've got to realise that we can't just turn up and hope we win – we've got to make sure we win.

"I honestly don't know what's missing. Recently, it's just been silly mistakes and nothing that can't be fixed.

"There's still a long way to go but the longer this goes on the harder it becomes to challenge at the top. We need to get things sorted and fast."

Newton took full responsibility for Tamworth's second goal on Saturday, misjudging a bouncing ball and allowing Lambs striker Reece Styche to complete his double.

The 29-year-old added: "If you make a mistake then there's a good chance you're not going to be playing in the next game. That's the industry we're in – it's football and it's ruthless.

We haven't gone backwards as a team, it's just individual mistakes. A few players, including myself, are out of form at the moment and you can't afford to carry three or four players.

"We've hit a brick wall in the last two games, but we work hard on the training ground and hopefully three points are just around the corner."