YORK City Knights boss James Ford has revealed he plans to mix his team up for the remaining two games of the Betfred Championship regular season – in readiness for their tilt at play-off glory.

The Knights, promoted from League One less than a year ago, sealed a remarkable top-five spot in the second tier on Sunday thanks to a thrilling 22-18 comeback win over play-off rivals Featherstone Rovers at a bouncing Bootham Crescent.

Upsetting the odds in the knockouts would see Ford’s part-timers win an even more astounding place in Super League.

To that end, the head coach has confirmed that, following this weekend’s break due to the Challenge Cup final, he will rotate his troops for the league games away to Leigh and Halifax, to rest some bodies and get other players up to speed for the knockouts.

He also reckoned there were “swings and roundabouts” to finishing in each position in the top five given the convoluted play-off programme, but he said his side would go out to win both their last two games and take it from there.

On his selection thoughts, he reasoned: “With the boys that are running on empty, we can rotate the squad around a bit and give some of the fringe players opportunities to get some game fitness - we might need them, and they might play their way into the side.

“It also gives a couple of the other blokes a bit of a blow for when we need them in the play-offs.”

Ford confirmed on-loan Hull centre Cam Scott was now ruled out for the season due to his shoulder injury, while a number of players suffered knocks on Sunday, not least fellow centre Liam Salter, who exited early with concussion.

“We’ve got heaps (of knocks),” he said. “Featherstone are a very physical side – I think everybody out on that field copped something and we’ll need the week off.”

Toronto Wolfpack have long since sealed top spot, but the Knights, currently sitting fourth, can yet finish anywhere from second to fifth. They are one point behind Toulouse and Leigh, and three ahead of Featherstone.

Asked if there was an advantage in finishing higher up the table, Ford initially quipped of the play-off format: “Don’t ask me how it works!

“It’s swings and roundabouts. Obviously the higher you are the more likely you are to get home advantage. I believe the top three also get two attempts.

“The swing or roundabout to that is you’re probably going to have to go to Toronto once or even twice, and there might be a trip to Toulouse in there as well.

“The way we look at it is we’re going to try to win every game, and what will be will be.”

Meanwhile, Ford hailed his team for overcoming the loss of Salter on Sunday, with special praise for local lad Joe Porter, who switched from second-row to centre and capped his display with a crucial try.

Porter had been left out of the side for a while after an issue off the pitch.

“In terms of the plan it went out of the window a little bit,” Ford explained of Sunday’s tactics.

“We lost Liam Salter to concussion, we had Joe Porter in the centre when he normally plays in the middle,

and we had Stocky in the back row when he’s normally a middle.

"Sometimes it’s about having that desire and fight and that willingness never to give in, and I think we embodied that in this game.

“I’m delighted for Joe. He’s been out of the side – I don’t regret that (dropping him).

"I have to protect the culture at the club and that comes before any individual, any coach, myself included.

"We have to protect the environment we’ve got because I believe that’s our best player.

“But he’s come back in and performed really well for us out of position.

"He always gives every thing he’s got on the field.”