DAVID FERGUSON believes the pressure is on York City to maintain their early place at the top of the table.

The left-sided wing-back has also hailed the impact of manager Steve Watson who has guided them to the top of the National League North.

An unbeaten start to the season has taken the Minstermen three points clear at the summit, with second-placed Guiseley's draw at Boston United giving them some breathing room.

Ferguson has been in fine form since the start of pre-season. He put in a man-of-the-match performance at the weekend and his assist during in the 2-0 home win over Leamington helped York to a fourth win from five.

"We've made a big statement," he said. "Obviously the pressure's on us to stay there. Fans are obviously expecting us to stay there.

"As someone said in the dressing room, we haven't conceded from open play. Just one set piece but, apart from that, we've been solid."

As is to be expected following such a start, there is a good feeling around the reinvigorated City squad.

Ferguson attributes the upturn to the influence and man-management skills of boss Steve Watson. The former Premier League star recruited smartly in the summer rather than undertaking a complete overhaul of the squad.

Each of his five signings have figured prominently in his plans thus far - while seven of every starting 11 so far this term are players at York last season.

"It just gives credit to the gaffer," Ferguson said."I think the lads who have come into the dressing room this year have brought something different.

"You could see last season what he changed and the fitness levels. It's the way he is, what he demands of you, even on days off, making sure you're doing something and looking after yourself.

"In previous years, we might have slacked off a tiny bit."

Watson's 3-5-2 formation has breathed life into the York attack, with widemen Ferguson and Kallum Griffiths instrumental in bombing up and down the wings.

Leamington's first-choice right-back Junior English was suspended for Saturday's match - and Ferguson gave stand-in James Mace a torrid time. Despite miscontrolling a pass out wide prior to the first goal, Ferguson still comfortably made up the ground to beat Mace by a couple of yards and deliver a pin-point cross to the back post for Alex Kempster to head in.

On his role, Ferguson added: "It's more or less about getting the ball out to me and and keeping the width.

"If the ball is switched over to me, then I'm on my bike.

"When I get one-v-one, I always think it's one of my strengths to beat the man and put the ball in.

"I just thought when I'm running, some defenders in this league can't defend against it.

"We would rather teams come onto us. When teams sit off us - which the majority of teams will do - I think we can pick them off then.

"Our energy levels this season are second to none and the second half it could have been 5-0."