NORTH Ferriby United boss Chris Bolder wants to see improvements at both ends of the pitch in their return fixture at Bootham Crescent on New Year’s Day.

The Villagers went down 4-1 to York City in front of their own fans on Boxing Day – a result that means they enter 2018 a massive 16 points adrift at the foot of the National League North table.

A tally of just ten league goals is 16 less than the next-lowest return in the division, recorded by eight-placed Chorley.

Ferriby’s 58 goals conceded, meanwhile, is also nine more than the team with the second-worst defensive record – second-bottom Southport.

Bolder is now challenging his team to cut out the sloppiness that allowed Jon Parkin to hit a hat-trick in Humberside, while sharpening up in front of the goal with eventual marksman Carl Stewart having failed to convert two simple chances before eventually hitting the target early in the second half.

The former Scarborough Athletic assistant manager said: “The frailties we’ve shown in the few games I’ve been in charge are a recurring theme with the goals we’re conceding and it is something we need to put right quickly. It’s a case of going with runners when they have an overlap and then being aware of where the striker is.

“When we get opportunities we also need to be more clinical. We had the only one-on-one and we could have changed the game if we’d taken it.”

Ex-Ferriby midfielder and captain Bolder, who started out as a player in the Football League with Grimsby, has lost all four of his opening games since taking over from Steve Housham at the end of November, with ex-Pickering Town and Tadcaster Albion striker Stewart’s goal the first of his reign.

Bolder’s elder brother Adam has also been added to Ferriby’s playing ranks at the age of 37, having had a better playing career than his sibling, representing Derby in the Premier League, as well as QPR and Sheffield Wednesday at Championship level.

He is expected to retain his starting place after featuring against the Minstermen on Tuesday.

Brett Agnew is also set to make the first XI, having replaced Bobby Johnson at half-time in Ferriby, with Bolder looking for his team to pose more of a physical challenge for their opponents.

Ex-City winger Callum Rzonca is doubtful, though, after picking up a first-half problem in the first game, with another Bootham Crescent old boy Craig Nelthorpe – his replacement – likely to deputise from the kick off.

Fellow ex-Minsterman Simon Russell will also captain the team, although another familiar face Ben Clappison is unlikely to feature, having not been part of the hosts’ Boxing Day squad.

Ferriby have lost their last eight matches and taken just one point from a possible 30 – during a 2-2 draw at Southport on November 4.

A 1-0 triumph at Blyth Spartans in mid-August remains their only win in 28 matches, with the team’s other four points having come against teams outside the top ten, following draws against Tamworth, Martin Gray’s Darlington team and FC United of Manchester.

On the road, the Villagers’ last four games on the road have seen 18 goals conceded and just one scored during defeats to Harrogate (3-0), Nuneaton (5-1), Kidderminster (4-0) and Salford (4-0).

Teenage striker Kuda Muskwe, who netted three times during a loan spell from Rotherham that ended in October, remains this term’s top scorer.

He has since been farmed out to Nuneaton and nobody else on Ferriby’s books this season has netted more than once.

In total, the Humbersiders have only scored in eight of their 25 games this season and kept just two clean sheets.