YORK City will keep faith in Adam Bartlett despite a string of recent errors.

The 32-year-old keeper leads The Press Player of the Year standings but his dip in form over the last four fixtures has coincided with the arrival of the Minstermen’s new management team of Steve Watson and Micky Cummins.

Assistant-boss Cummins has insisted, though, that Bartlett, who is out of contract at the end of this season, will retain his place between the sticks for Saturday’s home match against Ashton United, whilst adding that he feels it would be unfair to pitch 19-year-old understudy Ryan Whitley into the fray during the current pressurised situation.

“I played with Barts (at Gateshead) and we were really good friends so, when you become a coach, you want him to do well,” Cummins confessed. “He’s not a young lad, he’s a senior pro and we want to see him bounce back.

“We don’t want to see him react like he did after letting the first goal in against Hereford again, because it really seemed to affect him, but he’ll be staying in, even though we’re looking at all positions coming up to next season as well.”

On the merits of Whitley, who has been on trial at Manchester City and trained with England junior camps in the past, Cummins reasoned: “We wouldn’t be looking to put him in straight away with the way things are, but there’s big potential with Ryan and he’s certainly one for the future.

“We really like what we see in terms of his attitude and he has a really good presence, but he’s still learning his trade and we don’t want to do him an injustice by starting him when he’s not quite ready.”

The ex-Port Vale midfielder went on to reveal that the targeted new signing planned for this week had fallen through due to an injury, but he declared: “There are ongoing discussions regarding different positions and players.”

Cummins is not ruling out any departures either, explaining: “Some players who haven’t been getting minutes have been asking questions, so something might happen on that front.”

The 40-year-old Irishman also suggested that Tuesday night’s 2-1 home defeat to Hereford had given him and Watson a clearer picture of which players are up for the battle and which aren’t, arguing: “The comparison between our performance in the first half-hour to that of the last half-hour was ridiculous and, whilst I won’t name names of individuals or groups of players because we’ll keep that in-house, we’re starting to see what we have in the changing room in terms of trying to find a right formula of the personnel needed to churn out positive results.

“We’ve got lots of lads playing for contracts and, if they’re not taking responsibility for their own futures, you have to question that.”

Medial concussion protocol will rule out Dan Parslow for this weekend after his head injury against Hereford, but fellow defender Hamza Bencherif has returned to training after missing that match.

Paddy McLaughlin (hamstring) and Alex Kempster (dead leg) are making slow progress too, with Simon Heslop awaiting the results of a scan on his knee before he is given the green light to get back to work.

Top-scorer Jordan Burrow, meanwhile, has been challenged to bolster his 15-goal haul this term.

Six of Burrow’s tally have come from penalties with a seventh netted after his spot kick was saved, while two-fifths were also scored in cup contests.

Cummins felt Burrow should have doubled City’s first-half lead against Hereford with a free header and stressed: “Jordan will be the first to admit he doesn’t score enough goals.

“He’ll also be the first person working on the training ground trying to rectify that, but knows he has to hit the back of the net more often.”

On the challenge of third-bottom Ashton, who will arrive at Bootham Crescent having won their first back-to-back games this term, Cummins said: “They play 4-3-3 with two big centre-halves at the back who like to play the ball out, but they can also go direct to the big number nine Craig Hobson, who is a threat.

“They’ve had a little run of wins, which will help with their confidence and they will have a go, but we’re looking at how we can exploit them to get a foothold in the game and, then, continue to be positive.”

City have been drawn away to Scarborough Athletic in the semi-finals of the North Riding Senior Cup.