YORK City Knights boss James Ford has hailed the way his team bounced back to form - but says they are only half way to showing the defeat at Whitehaven was only a blip.

The Knights walloped a dangerous Workington team 40-8 in front of another noisy crowd at Bootham Crescent, to stay on the coattails of Betfred League One leaders Bradford Bulls.

It was a "marked improvement" on their previous performance when they threw away an 18-8 lead to lose at Whitehaven.

But, with a tough run of fixtures around the corner, starting with next weekend's trip to bogey team North Wales Crusaders, the head coach insisted there was a lot of work still to be done.

"We spoke about a response and about showing the resilience - one of our principles is being a resilient bunch of blokes," he said.

“We’ve won one game. We spoke about and set a target of two from two to show that we're back and that the Whitehaven defeat was a blip.

"We're half-way there and we need to go again against North Wales.

"We've got a terrible record against North Wales. We've had some cracking games against them - I remember a couple of 30-28 games - and they beat us twice at the start of last year.

"We need to start beating Crusaders. We need a good week in our preparation, running into what we know will be a tough challenge for us.

"It's a tough period (coming up) but these are the games we want to play - playing the top sides - Doncaster, Hunslet, Keighley, Bradford, the Cumbrian sides, Oldham. That's who we want to play and test ourselves against."

Ford had warned prior to Workington's visit that they were a threat in the promotion battle - and he reiterated that even after this scoreline.

On the result, he said: “I certainly didn’t expect that because Workington are a good side and are well-coached.

"I like how they shape up coming out of yardage and they ask a lot of questions in good ball. They've got some big fellas that take some handling up the middle as well.

"They beat Bradford and we've got a lot of respect for them.

“We were prepared for a game to be in the balance at the end.

“Fortunately for us, in some areas of the game we were really good and the game was comfortable.

“But we know we have to go to Workington at the back end of the year and they will be desperate to get revenge.

“We will go up there knowing we will have to play at our very best.

"Yes they are still a threat."

On his team's display, he said: "We were much better in the contacts side of the game both defensively and offensively. It was a marked improvement from up at Whitehaven where they marched us down the field and we had some soft efforts in defence.

"We looked at that and worked at it at training and I'm really proud of the response of the boys.

"When you cop a little bit off your coach, some blokes can sulk. These copped it on Tuesday but they've rocked up and worked really hard in all the sessions. We've done a lot of contact in training and I'm really pleased with what we've produced."

Ford also revealed he tweaked his team's usual game plan in order to tire out Workington's big pack men, not least veteran Tongan legend Fuifui Moimoi.

"We had a powerful set of backs who were good out of dummy-half and we wanted to bring them into the game," he explained.

“We wanted to get at a couple of their middles who are a real handful and make them make double and treble efforts which would negate some of their impact when in possession.

"It took away from how we usually play, trying to shift the ball all round, but we thought it was the right thing to do to make sure we won the game."

* THE Knights will be running a supporters' bus to next Sunday's game at North Wales Crusaders, leaving Bootham Crescent at 10am. Seats costing £15 can be booked by phoning Neil Gulliver on 07411 122995, emailing n.gulliver@yorkcityknights.com or calling into the club's office at York St John University's sports centre in Haxby Road.