YORK City boss Martin Gray has admitted all six points must be taken against bottom-of-the-table North Ferriby over the festive period to avoid greater pressure on his job.

Gray has only been in charge at Bootham Crescent for three months, but a 3-2 home defeat to Blyth Spartans represented a third consecutive loss and left the mid-table Minstermen five points off the National League North play-off pace and just seven above the relegation zone.

Ferriby, meanwhile, only have seven points from their 22 league games this term and are 13 adrift at the foot of the table ahead of entertaining City on Boxing Day and travelling to North Yorkshire on New Year’s Day.

After Jon Parkin’s penalty cancelled out Sean Reid’s opening goal for Blyth, which was also scored from the spot, the visitors took control with further efforts from Adam Wrightson and Greg Rutherford.

Parkin went on to net again on 87 minutes, with his 18th goal of the season, but City did not deserve any reward after another shoddy defensive display and, giving an honest appraisal of the outlook for his managerial future if results do not improve quickly, Gray confessed: “This can’t keep going on.

“We’ve brought professionalism into the club and tried to stop the rot and negativity but, while we’ve seen bits of improvements, we haven’t seen that in results and we’re judged on results. Everybody has to stand up and be counted and the players are 100 per cent behind me, but they have to start delivering now because, if not, we all know what the outcome will be – somebody will go.

“That’s the business we are in. It’s a results-based industry and I’m never one to hide, but I want the best for York City and I’ll give my best as I’ve done throughout my career, because I want to be successful.

“I hope they are patient with us and we’ve got to get maximum points in the next two games – it’s as simple as that. There are no easy games, though, whether you’re playing Salford or North Ferriby - everybody raises their game.”

City supporters vented their frustration during the second half against Blyth with sarcastic chants and ironic cheers and Gray added that he could empathise with their exasperation.

“In the second half, there was a lack of self-belief in the players and that’s a concern,” he declared. “We’ve got to be big and strong, because we get paid well and are professional people who have got to take criticism – both myself and the players.

“I can understand the fans’ frustrations and I’m absolutely gutted for them. I can only apologise to them, but we will turn the corner around.

“The players have got to handle the pressure now, stick together and show they have a real understanding of what everything is about by giving these fans something they deserve.”

Gray felt that his team dominated the opening 45 minutes, but were undone by errors with right-back Daniel Rowe held culpable for both Blyth goals – the first coming after he clumsily tripped Robbie Dale in the box.

Summarising the display, Gray argued: “We put in such a strong first-half performance and dominated, but people forget about that as we were 2-1 down at the break because of individual errors again and every player has to do their job right. Daniel Rowe has got to do better for both goals – there’s no question about that whatsoever.

“But we can’t keep pointing the finger at the defence either. We’ve also got to look at what’s happening in front of them, because we had very poor shape off the ball for their second goal and, while Jon Parkin got us two goals, we shouldn’t be relying on that.

“Amari Morgan-Smith has also got to score when he’s through one-on-one and then you go in at half-time 2-2 instead of 2-1 down.”

The City boss also conceded that the spot kick awarded to his team, when Aidan Connolly theatrically threw himself to the floor following a Nathan Buddle lunge, should not have been given.

“I didn’t think it was a penalty,” Gray said. “I’m not a cheat, but players do it in the modern game and it got us back in the game, so you take that bit of luck.”

Gray added, meanwhile, that he felt on-loan Middlesbrough midfielder Alex Pattison and former Riverside defender Jonny Burn were the two players who came out of the game with credit.

“I thought Jonny Burn and Alex Pattison were outstanding,” the City boss pointed out. “Alex had a good home debut and Jonny used the ball well, so they were probably the pick of the bunch.”