YORK City Knights boss James Ford has intimated he might rest some key men for next week's trip to bottom club West Wales Raiders - but "certainly" did not consider it against North Wales Crusaders this weekend.

York face a tough run of fixtures against play-off hopefuls immediately after next Saturday's game against League One's whipping boys, so appears likely to rotate players in readiness - even if the Knights need to bolster points difference to catch leaders Bradford Bulls in the title race.

But Ford believes tomorrow's visitors to Bootham Crescent are far stronger than their current 10th-placed rating suggests - and is well aware York's record against the Crusaders isn't great either.

"Maybe next week we will rotate the side around, but certainly not this week," said the head coach, who is already without injured trio Tim Spears, Colton Roche and Jake Butler-Fleming, as well as dual-reg incomers.

"North Wales are a far better side than 10th. Historically they've got a good record against us so we have to make sure we're strong and make sure we win the game.

"North Wales are capable of turning anyone over in this league.

"We have to work harder than them and our attitude has to be spot on. If so, that will stand us in good stead."

As detailed on thepress.co.uk/sport, Ford has named a strong squad for tomorrow, aside from injuries.

He added: "North Wales have dangerous players and they have some big lumps in the middle who go forward pretty well, so our line speed and intent in hitting hard has to be up there as it has been all season.

"The full-back Tommy Johnson is an indicator of their attacking shifts. They play similar to us and try to get numbers on sides."

York won 31-4 in Wrexham in mid-June but before that had only beaten the Crusaders once in their previous five meetings, with each of those contests going to the wire.

Asked if that last encounter put paid to any hoodoo sign, Ford said: "I've said before I don't buy into stuff like 'bogey sides' etc.

"Historically North Wales have a good record against York. We're aware of that and we're aware of the fact they've got good players and play good rugby league.

"They've done okay against the top three of four sides as well so we know we will have to produce another really good performance to take the points."