YORK City boss Sam Collins is still considering further additions to his improving squad.

The Minstermen chief has recruited loan quintet Lewis Hawkins, Joe Davis, Alex Bray, Joe Ironside and Kennedy Digie since being given the green light by chairman Jason McGill to bolster the ranks following the 4-1 home defeat to Bradford Park Avenue a fortnight ago.

Better displays have since been evidenced during the 2-1 FA Cup defeat at League Two Swindon and Tuesday night’s 0-0 home draw against a Chester team who would have moved to the top of the National League North table with a victory.

But Collins still feels there are departments of the team that could benefit from new faces and he said: “We’re still looking and still think we can be stronger in certain areas so, if it’s the right time, that might be something we look to do.

“We’ve just got to be careful, though, with the number of players coming in both financially and to make sure the group is happy.”

With the club having only managed back-to-back clean sheets once in the last 15 months – during Collins’ first two games at the helm back in August – the former Port Vale and Hartlepool defender is now hoping new centre-half pairing Joe Davis and Kennedy Digie can help the team secure another shut-out on Saturday at Altrincham, following their starring roles against Chester.

“It’s difficult when you don’t really know each other, and they’d only met the day before the Chester match, but they both looked really assured,” Collins enthused. “They fitted together well with the balance between their different styles and that was really pleasing.

“I know Chester hit the post but, apart from that, they didn’t really have anything else in the game and, if we start keeping clean sheets again, it gives you something to build on and, having been a defender myself, I pride myself on that.”

At the other end of the pitch, meanwhile, Collins believes it will be only a matter of time before striker Ironside hits the goal trail, despite the ex-Sheffield United striker saying sorry to his new team-mates for not taking two chances that would have secured maximum points in midweek.

Ironside has netted 24 and 23 times at National League North level during the past two seasons and also has six to his name this season for parent club Kidderminster despite falling out of favour at Aggborough, with Collins reasoning: “When we played Kidderminster at home in September, he would have probably scored a couple of goals with the chances he had (on Tuesday night), and we’ve got to get him back to that.

“He has been getting frustrated at Kidderminster but, with his record, I think we will get him up to speed quickly. He apologised to everyone afterwards because he felt he should have scored, but that’s fine, because we’re pretty sure he will score a lot of goals for us, which is great.”

Collins also went on to praise Kallum Griffiths for the transition he has made from right back to midfield anchorman during the last three games in the absence of an injured Simon Heslop.

The former Spennymoor defender had been left out of the City squad twice and an unused substitute during the five previous matches but has been likened to a “bull” for his determined displays against Bradford, Swindon and Chester since making the positional switch.

“He’s been absolutely outstanding, and he has a really good attitude,” Collins said of the 28-year-old, former Sunderland academy hopeful. “You could tell him to do anything out on the pitch and he would give it a go, but he looks really comfortable there getting about people and breaking play up.

“He also wants to get on the ball and play and it’s been a real positive him playing there. It came about because we did a few different types of training sessions and he caught the eye after we put him there, so we just thought let’s go with it.

“It suits him because of the way he goes about the game and his endeavour. He’s like a little bull the way he gets around the pitch and he’s all over people like a rash. I like that and playing him there also gets him more involved.”

Having taken one point from a possible 12 in the league, Collins is now calling on his players to ensure the improvements witnessed in the last two fixtures are now translated into wins, starting at an eighth-placed Altrincham team, who lie just three points behind table-toppers Bradford with a game in hand.

The City chief added: “They are a good footballing team who had a good result against Chester at the weekend, with a 2-1 away win. We know it won’t be easy, but we’ve got to meet the levels we have shown during the last two games and turn them into wins.”