YORK City boss Martin Gray hailed a 1-0 win over National League North leaders Salford as the best under his stewardship.

But the former Darlington manager insisted nobody should get carried away with one victory, ahead of next weekend’s visit to unfashionable Curzon Ashton.

Prior to the Salford success, City had failed to defeat Spennymoor, Stockport and Tamworth in their previous three contests and Gray said: “We want to be in the top three and are slowly seeing signs of improvement every week but, even though we’ve beaten the leaders, that’s all we’ve done and we can’t get carried away, because we’ve got to concentrate on doing the same at Curzon Ashton.

“It was an outstanding performance – the best during the four months I have been here – because our desire, hunger and fitness levels were fantastic, but we have to build on it now and the last 15 minutes was exactly what my teams are about.

“We had to be at our very best, because we were playing a team who are very, very good, but we cleared two off the line and got blocks in all over the pitch and, as much as Aidan Connolly was fantastic for us, what happened at the back was just as important.”

Connolly grabbed the only goal of the game on 27 minutes when he sent in a ball from the left that bounced over the line off away keeper Max Crocombe’s far post.

The hosts went on to squander a second-half opportunity to double the lead when top-scorer Jon Parkin blasted against the frame of the goal from the penalty spot, with Gray adding: “Jon usually busts the back of the net, but I think he broke the crossbar with that one and I couldn’t believe it, because he never usually misses.”

Middlesbrough midfielder Alex Pattison, meanwhile, made his second debut for the club after returning on loan from the Riverside and, on his performance, Gray enthused: “He managed the game really well.

“He closed down from the start and got us up the pitch. His fitness levels were good and he’s come back at the right time to strengthen us.”

Pattison was preferred on the right flank to Connor Smith, who was left out of the squad altogether, following a man-of-the-match performance during the 1-1 draw at Tamworth.

Explaining that decision, the City manager admitted: “He did ever so well in the last game, so it was a tough conversation to have with a young boy, telling him he wasn’t going to be on the bench. That was very hard on him but that’s management – you’ve got to be honest with players and it’s all about doing what’s necessary to get the team three points.

“He will still play his part in the squad. We’re just looking for consistency from him and he’s starting to mature from what I first saw four months ago.

“He’s got more of a controlled temperament now, whereas before he came across as a hot-head and I thought he had Tourettes.”

Gray went on to reveal that he has plans to bolster the squad at left back, where David Ferguson has been the automatic choice since Alex Whittle left for Forest Green last month.

“We’ve got one or two players training with us and we could be making a signing during the early part of next week,” the ex-Sunderland midfielder declared. “We’re looking at another left back.

“I thought David Ferguson had his best game for us but he knows, having brought another one into the building, that he must maintain such standards and they can’t dip. Connor Brown has also got competition at right back from Josh Law and, ideally, you want to double up in every position.”

Law is likely to be needed in the near future, with former Guiseley defender Brown now just one caution away from incurring a three-game ban, having had his name taken for the 14th time this term against Salford.

On that record, Gray insisted: “I don’t want him to change, because he’s strengthened us since he’s come in. You want that determination and it’s what he’s about.

“I also thought his booking was a soft-looking one and shouldn’t have been a yellow card.”