YORK City boss Martin Gray is backing goal-less strikers Jordan Burrow and Jake Wright to hit the back of the net sooner rather than later.

Wright netted three times in pre-season when Burrow also converted a penalty, but the pair are still waiting to get their names on the scoresheet after starting the first four fixtures of the National League North campaign with the latter having another spot kick saved during the 1-0 win against Stockport.

But City boss Gray has praised the duo’s industry during the opening fortnight, as well as Wright’s willingness to sacrifice his attacking instincts for the team after he filled in on the left side of midfield during Tuesday night’s 2-0 win at Ashton United.

“In the 90th minute, Jordan Burrow chased down a ball to get us a throw-in in the same way as if it was the first minute at Ashton and I’m delighted with his work ethic,” Gray declared. “He just needs a goal like every forward.

“It might take one off the back of his head and it will come because he’s getting himself in the right positions. We’ve just got to keep giving him opportunities and, over the season, he will be fantastic for us.

“Jake Wright’s a centre forward, but he put a shift in for the team on Tuesday night. He stopped their full-back from playing by working hard and that was important.

“It perhaps wasn’t natural for him and he looked a little lost at times, but I knew I could rely on his honesty. In certain games, you might have two players out in the same position and you look for somebody to do a job, which he did.”

Sean Newton and Alex Kempster could both be back in contention for Saturday’s home match against Curzon Ashton after their respective knee injuries kept them sidelined in midweek, meaning Wright could be restored to an attack, where two-goal Maculay Langstaff, Burrow and Jon Parkin are also vying for a starting place.

Midfielders Russ Penn and Adriano Moke have recovered, meanwhile, from the problems that saw them replaced in Greater Manchester, although Simon Heslop (ribs) is still believed to be doubtful.

Having won Tuesday night’s game with goals from a throw-in and a free kick, Gray has called on his team to continue capitalising on their dead-ball threat, reasoning: “I don’t want to be an ugly team and we will pass the ball when we can, but we’ve got to be relentless in what we do.

“We’ve got five big players in the box for set-plays in Tom Allan, Joe Tait, Hamza Bencherif, Jordan Burrow and Jon Parkin, as well as a long throw and, at Darlington, I won leagues by getting 15 free kicks a game and scoring two goals from them, so you have to maximise what you’ve got.”

Having suffered last season’s biggest defeat at Curzon when City were humbled 4-1 and been knocked out of the FA Cup by the same opponents the previous campaign, Gray went on to insist it was time for the club to set the record straight against a team he regards as one of the best footballing outfits in the division.

“We’ve got a point to prove as a club,” he confessed. “I wasn’t around for the FA Cup game, but we had a really bad day at their place last season and we’ve got to make sure we back up our midweek win with another disciplined performance.

“They are a good, footballing team who look to pass the ball and, if you sit off them and let them play, they’re as good as anybody in this league. They have done ever so well during the last few years and the manager has done a great job without a massive budget.

“They have bad days like everybody else does, but we need to make sure we respect them and come out with the victory we need.”

Gray added that Tom Allan, who made his second debut for City against Ashton at left back, will be in contention for two positions in the back four.

“He did that at Alfreton and he’s very dominant as a centre half,” Gray explained. “He has goals in him at set-plays as well, because he’s very strong in the air, as you’d expect and it’s great to see a local boy out there.”