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York City Knights' Paul King calls for reinforcements
TALISMANIC forward Paul King reckons York City Knights could do with more strength in depth to help them find a winning formula – a call which might soon be answered.
The former Super League star and one-time Great Britain international has slammed the team’s losing habit but has otherwise declared his happiness at Huntington Stadium and has already expressed an interest in extending his stay beyond an initial one-year deal.
In the immediate term he has admitted nine defeats from nine Championship matches is obviously “not good enough”, but is determined his side hit the winning trail.
And The Press understands those hopes may soon be boosted by new recruits, with the club in talks with potential play-makers and more pack power.
“I enjoy it here,” said King when asked if York’s losing run made him question his decision to sign in the first place. “The lads are good, the coaching staff are good and people behind scenes are good. It’s a good place to be. I would stay again if they offered me the chance.
“We just need to change the results. On paper we have as strong a 13 as other teams. We’re probably missing that strength in depth.
“On Sunday some of our subs had barely played ten games between them. They’re great lads and are giving it everything, but Keighley could call on a lot of experience and Super League quality.”
The club are not releasing names of their targets but it is thought they include dual-registration deals as well as permanent signings from Championship rivals.
Regardless of new recruitment, King has stressed the Knights’ current squad should be doing better than at present.
“I don’t know if we thought we had won the game or what. But once you go 18-0 up at home you shouldn’t concede 42 points even if you’re playing Wigan or Leeds,” he said of Sunday’s defeat.
“If it’s Wigan or Leeds then it’s more understandable, but it wasn’t, it was Keighley Cougars. They’ve got a lot of experience and are a good team, but that was the most frustrating thing – that we started so well but then shipped in that many points.
“It was the same at Featherstone. We started well but lost that one as well.
“We all know it’s not good enough. We’re saying the right things after games and in training. But we’ve got to do it for the full 80 minutes.”
Fans have questioned the team’s fitness, but King said: “We compete for 40 or 50 minutes but then we seem to be getting blown away.
“It’s not our fitness – our fitness is good – it’s because we change the way we’re playing when there’s no need to. We go away from what we’re doing well, and it costs us every time. If it’s working, stick to it.”
However, he did say the fact the team are competing means a win can’t be far away – only they need to have the right mental attitude every week, not least in the next match, at home to Swinton a week on Sunday.
He said: “We should have beaten Sheffield, at Featherstone we put ourselves in a winning position, we were the better team against Batley, and we were in a winning position against Keighley.
“Getting that first win is so important. Losing starts becoming a habit and it’s a bad habit.
“Swinton is a winnable game. They’re not playing badly at all – they only just lost to (leaders) Halifax last weekend and they turned us over at their place. But we can win it. We have to keep our shape and composure.
“We’ve proved we can compete. It can be a simple game – complete sets and make your tackle and you don’t go wrong.”
On a personal level, King says he has more to offer.
“I think there’s still a lot more to come from me,” he said when asked if he was happy with his own form.
“I had that broken rib and then pneumonia earlier on (in the season) and I’ve had a few niggling injuries, but I’ve played four or five games in a row and hopefully I can show a bit more. I’m doing okay but I can play better.”