SKIPPER Manny Panther is ready to pledge his future to York City despite the club's painful play-off defeat at Morecambe.

Panther is now out of contract at KitKat Crescent, along with the rest of the squad, but is eager to sign a new deal before leaving for his summer break.

Manager Billy McEwan is currently considering his retained list for next season with the club understood to have one-year options to re-sign certain players and Panther, who joined the club in the summer of 2005, has signalled his desire to kick off a third campaign with City.

The ex-Partick Thistle midfielder, who turns 23 tomorrow, is also hoping that the majority of his team-mates are still wearing the club's colours come August.

He said: "I'd like to get things resolved as quickly as possible so then we can go away for the break looking forward to next season. Hopefully, we can keep as many players as possible and build on that."

City's players returned to KitKat Crescent today after being given two days off following the 2-1 loss at Morecambe.

Panther has since watched a rerun of the game and is beginning to come to terms with missing out on a Wembley final and the possibility of regaining the club's Football League status.

He said: "The reality has just sunk in. It's hard accepting the season is over but I suppose that's football and we have to get over it.

"It's a harsh experience to learn from. When we took a 1-0 lead it seemed that we were so close to Wembley but now we couldn't be further away."

Panther felt that nerves contributed to City's downfall with some players possibly suffering stage fright during their first appearance in front of the television cameras.

He also lamented an uncharacteristic second-half performance from the Minstermen, who lost after going ahead for the first time since the 3-2 home defeat to champions Dagenham and Redbridge back in November.

The City captain said: "We didn't perform as a team which we have been doing all season and I think nerves definitely played a part. We've been so comfortable when we've had to defend leads but maybe it came down to a lack of experience.

"Most of our players haven't been on television before and maybe some of them got a bit nervous and uptight. For the first goal we gave away a stupid free-kick, as we did at other stages in the game and we've been banging on about that all season. Then we didn't come out for the second-half.

"Once they scored the second goal we couldn't get enough efforts in at their young 'keeper. They defended deep and did to us what we probably should have done to them when we took the lead. We also had a lot of chances in the first leg which we did not convert and we need to be more ruthless."

Despite the disappointing end to the season, Panther was also keen to highlight the progress made in 2006-07, adding: "The club has come on leaps and bounds since I've been here, on and off the pitch. Morecambe have learned from missing out in the play-offs twice and I'm sure we will learn from Monday night."