TIM SPEARS has called on his York team-mates not to be content with a place in the Championship play-offs and to challenge for a spot in Super League.

Less than a fortnight ago, York City Knights sealed their spot in the Betfred Championship play-offs after coming from behind to seal a 22-18 victory over Featherstone Rovers at Bootham Crescent.

The Knights were unfancied by many at the start of the season to reach the top five in their first season back in the second tier following last year’s League One title win.

However, York eclipsed their higher spending competitors to make the play-offs and, while recognising the size of their accomplishment, captain Spears has called on the players to push on and show their worth in the season’s finale.

“To make the top five is a tremendous achievement for the club,” said Spears.

“We were confident going into this year.

"We thought that we had the players of the ability to be able to do it.

“We always knew that the step up from League 1 was always going to be tough. When you’re playing Championship teams on a consistent basis, the standards are going to be higher.

“A number of the players in our squad hadn’t been involved in that before and we haven’t had that many players in on dual registration this year too. We’ve had quite a slim squad this year on the whole too.

“I think it’s right and proper to recognise the achievement of the team this year.

“A lot of people outside of the club wouldn’t have thought that we’d be able to get this far, but we’re a confident group.

“From our point of view, we’re in the play-offs now, we’ve reflected on where we’re at and we don’t want to just be content with that, we want to have a real go at it.

The 35-year-old also reckons that the Knights’ recent win of Featherstone - whom they could come up against in the play-offs - is ideal preparation for the year’s finale.

“I think the Featherstone game was perfect for us as it was played at the intensity of a play-off game,” added Spears.

“For large parts of it, it was in the balance.

“They were on top for periods of the game until we found our fluency and put us in a position to win the game.

“It was a really good win for ourselves and we want to have set the bar with that and make that our standard to hit from now until the end of the season.”