YORK City Knights have employed a sports psychologist in a bid to boost confidence among the squad, writes Peter Martini.

Player-coach Paul Broadbent reckoned the second-half performance at Cougar Park, where the Knights fought back gamely in their defeat to leaders Keighley, suggested his side have begun to turn the corner following their poor run.

And he welcomed the move to bring in a psychologist to help the players get back their self-belief.

"We got the guy to come in and speak to the players," he told the Evening Press. "They are happy to take these things on board and the sports psychologist is helping us work through the lack of self-belief that we seem to have had recently.

"I think it's a good idea. There is no doubt that what we've got on the field, the players we've got, have the ability to do the business. Nothing has changed from when we were doing it, apart from the fact people aren't playing with the same confidence as we were then.

"As soon as we get that self-belief back then we will be all right."

Broadbent, pictured below, said the players have been upbeat in training since the Cougars' match, despite their poor run which has seen them collect just one point from the opening four games in National League Division Two.

"There was a good positive feel about the place after the vast improvement in the second half against Keighley," he said.

"That second-half performance was what we needed, to see the players show the self-belief and confidence that we were showing a month and a half ago when we were winning. I think we might have turned the corner.

"They're working hard to put things right and they've trained really well since then."

The Knights visit third-placed Barrow Raiders in the National League on Sunday, kick off 3pm.

Updated: 11:03 Monday, May 19, 2003