ON-LOAN York City defender Joe Davis has insisted that the Bootham Crescent sickness bug was no excuse for failing to beat Leamington.

The Minstermen have had several members of the team fall ill over the past week, but the Burnley-born 25-year-old declared that was not the reason the hosts surrendered a 2-0 lead against the Warwickshire visitors on Tuesday.

Jordan Burrow’s second-half brace was wiped out by a Colby Bishop double and a forthright Davis said: “I’ve managed to avoid the bug luckily and I’ve been trying to stay away from the ill people as much as possible.

“The lads have been brilliant to get through it and it’s not been easy on them physically, especially against FC United on Saturday, and a few were still feeling the effects on Tuesday, but there are no excuses. We have to be bigger and better than we were against Leamington to go out and still do our jobs.”

Instead, the ex-Leicester reserve blamed the two dropped points on mistakes made in different areas of the field during the last 20 minutes.

“It was a disappointing night all-round,” he confessed. “We were cruising at 2-0, then stopped doing the things we were doing really well and caused our own problems.

“The game was there to be won, but we were not able to do that. We have to look at the things we did wrong and make sure it doesn’t happen again, otherwise it will affect us right throughout the season.

“I don’t think it was down to complacency. It was more to do with collective errors all over the pitch.

“We had plenty of chances to finish the game off and started dropping off as a back four, while giving silly free kicks away which played into their hands because it gave them an opportunity to put the ball in the box and that’s how they scored their second goal. We’ve all got to hold our hands up because it wasn’t good enough and, whilst I know the fans have probably heard people say it over and over again, we’ve got to rectify it now against Boston on Saturday.

“It’s a big game for us and it will be really tough, because they are going quite well in the league, so we have got to go there all guns blazing to get three points.”

Davis switched to right back from centre-half against Leamington, but the temporary Port Vale recruit is no stranger to the role, explaining: “It’s a new position in this team, but I played about 20 games there for Port Vale last season. I feel comfortable there and know the position well, so I believe I can do a decent job for the team. I’m obviously willing to play wherever the manager wants me and he felt he wanted a big back four to deal with Leamington’s strengths.

“It was a quick turnaround from Saturday’s game, so we didn’t really have too long to work on it, but the manager had seen me play there in the past and knows my qualities there, so it was just a case of sticking me in and giving me instructions before the game.”

Having played at League One, League Two and National League level during his career, meanwhile, Davis agrees with a growing number of observers suggesting City’s 11-goal top-scorer Burrow should be operating in a higher division.

“Jordan’s been doing really well, scoring a lot of goals for us and, for him to score twice but for us to come away with a draw, something was obviously not right. He’s a handful week in, week out and doesn’t give defenders a minute.

“When the ball is up in the air, you always fancy him to win it and he plays to his strengths. You know the ball will stick with him or he can flick things on and cause problems for the opposition.

“I know he could definitely play higher and we are lucky to have him.”

On experiencing his own first taste of sixth-tier football, Davis admitted that the style of football has been better than expected.

“The standard has generally been good,” he reasoned. “A lot of the teams, like Kidderminster, Altrincham and FC United, have tried to play football and that’s surprised me a little bit.

“There’s a sort of reputation that, as you go down the leagues, there will be more long balls and, while Leamington were a bit like that, generally a lot of football is played at this level and that’s how I like to play in games.”

Davis added that nothing has been discussed in terms of where his future lies beyond the end of his loan spell in January.

“I’m just still focussing on the moment and doing well for York by trying to help the club get results, rather than thinking about myself,” he explained. “Then, we’ll have a look at things in January and take it from there.”