YORK City boss Sam Collins has cancelled time off for his struggling squad following a seventh straight National League North away defeat.

Ryan Shenton’s 60th-minute goal earned Curzon Ashton a 1-0 win against the Minstermen, who now face a fortnight without a game before travelling to promotion hopefuls Stockport on January 19.

City chief Collins, though, has now insisted that his players report in for training at Wigginton Road as normal, despite a previous intention to sanction some down time following the busy Christmas period.

“With two weeks until our next game, I was going to give the players two or three days off with their families to make up for the Christmas period when they didn’t see much of them, but that has been cancelled,” Collins declared. “If they have to be in every day until we get a team that’s consistent and wants to win every game, then so be it.”

Defeat at Curzon means the Minstermen will now complete a whole calendar year without registering back-to-back league victories in the sixth tier of English football.

With the loan stays of Alex Bray, Joe Davis, Kennedy Digie, and Joe Ironside having now expired and Alex Harris’ contract situation unclear, the team that travels to Edgeley Park could be a very different one.

Collins has already stated that he has two new recruits in mind and he went on to signal his intention to bring in “some leaders” following the side’s latest setback.

“I know it’s part of my job, but why is it up to me to tell people to get themselves going from the sidelines?” Collins complained after the Curzon loss. “It needs to come from out on the pitch as well, even if it’s just a centre-half winning a header or somebody making a tackle.

“Teams that are successful keep fighting even if they’re not playing well and make sure something eventually falls their way and I need to find some leaders. That’s not just people who shout and bawl, but people who are brave enough to get on the ball when things aren’t going well.

“In the dressing room afterwards, Liam Agnew asked why everybody had stopped taking the ball off Adam Bartlett and some of these players have to be tougher mentally, not physically, if they’re going to pick up results at places like Curzon. There was a determination and character about our play when we were on the front foot in the first half, but where did that go in the second?”

Curzon claimed all three points when Bartlett spilled a long-range Ryan Brooke effort and Shenton pounced to tap in the rebound, with Collins lamenting a first half in which his side lacked a cutting edge and a second period when their display fell flat.

“We should have been out of sight by half-time,” he argued. “We were dominating the game with the chances we had and should have had them dead and buried.

“I don’t know if Jake Wright’s goal was offside, but Hamza (Bencherif) also had a couple of good opportunities and Jordan Burrow had one, so we had to be more clinical in that respect. They never had a chance and probably only had one in the whole game, which was a mistake because it had to be saved from 25 yards out and we should have been following up as well.

“But the second half was flat again and we didn’t manage a shot until the keeper made a brilliant save from Joe Ironside right at the end.”

One of the most infuriating features of his team’s performance for Collins, meanwhile, was the inability to clear the first man from corner kicks with Josh Law the biggest culprit.

“That drives you crazy, because we do enough work on them,” the City manager confessed. “That’s just simple, schoolboy stuff and people have to be better than that because, when we did get deliveries in the box, we attacked the ball well.”

Second-half substitute Harris also incurred the wrath of the former Hartlepool caretaker chief, who added: “I was really disappointed with Alex Harris and have told him that. The first four of five times we gave him the ball, he gave it away.

“He’s been frustrated because he’s not been playing, but he’s got to show he deserves to play.”