JAMES FORD insists that the mindset of his York City Knights side remains the same as they prepare to Leigh on Sunday, having already secured their spot in the play-offs.

A fortnight ago, York came from behind to defeat Featherstone Rovers 22-18 at Bootham Crescent to seal their spot in the Betfred Championship play-offs for the first time since their reformation in 2002.

Two league games still remain for the Knights though, with a trip to third-placed Leigh Centurions before a visit to Halifax a week later.

On paper, there is still rewards to play for. A finish in the top three would mean York bypass the elimination final round of the play-offs, while placing above fifth will ensure a home play-off fixture.

For head coach Ford though, the only thing on his mind is Sunday's trip to Leigh and gaining maximum points.

“The mindset for myself and the squad remains the same as it would do for every other week," said Ford.

"We’ll prepare as well as we can during our training, we’ll put out our strongest side and we’ll endeavour to win the game.

"That starts on Sunday against Leigh who are a quality team. They’ve got some really good coaching there and we know what an immense challenge this will be.

“To be honest, I’m not sure of the play-off situation, I’m not looking too closely at the league table and the permutations surrounding the play-offs.

"We’re just focused on the Leigh game and we’ll look to play to our best and try and get the victory."

Coach John Duffy's Leigh, who are currently a point above the Knights in the table, having won all of their last five league matches, scoring over 30 points in all of their previous four.

“They’re a good team," said Ford of their opponents. "They had a really strong start to the year.

"They’ve got good spirit, good intensity and they put in a shift for one another. They’re a side that execute their game plan really well too.

"They’re a trademark John Duffy side. They’ve strengthen their squad recently with some quality players, which is totally understandable.

"It’s not something that we’re going to cry about, that's for sure."

There was no league action in the top two divisions last weekend due to the Challenge Cup final, meaning a break in the Knights' training schedule.

"We didn’t have any training last week, we gave the players a week," he added.

"But, the players have been back in this week and we’re really pleased with how they’ve turned up.

"They’ve come back fresh, both physically and mentally. They’ve been outstanding in training this week and we’ll be looking to take that into the Leigh game on Sunday."

Almost two weeks have passed since their memorable triumph over Featherstone, though Ford says there's still a positive atmosphere around the squad.

"I can’t remember too much about those initial celebrations, it was all a bit of a blur," said the coach.

"It was good that Connor Robinson was the one who threw the ball into the crowd to seal the win

"He’s been a big part of the club’s successes both on and off the field. I think his journey mirrors our own.

"We’ve seen lots of improvements in his game and to the club itself. We’re proud of the achievement.

"There’s a good vibe about the team at the minute. The squad are quite a tight-knit bunch and they can all feel that.

"We’ve enjoyed that moment but we want to continue to keep our standards high for the reminder of the year.

Ford has been forced into four changes to his 19-man squad, with Perry Whiteley, Liam Salter, Ronan Dixon and Jack Teanby all out, though it's thought that these are minor problems.

"We’ve got a few players missing this week," said Ford.

"Liam Salter suffered a concussion against Featherstone and he’s gone to see a specialist about that. He may be back for the Halifax game though.

"Ronan Dixon and Jack Teanby are both out with knocks. Sam Scott has got a slight groin issue as well, so we’re still waiting to see whether or not he’ll feature this weekend.

"Perry Whiteley is missing this week after undergoing minor surgery, but we’re hopeful that he’ll be back for the Halifax game."

York City Knights squad: Marsh, Chilton, Bass, Hey, Oakes, Harris, Robinson, Baldwinson, Jubb, Horne, S Scott, Porter, Spears, Brining, Stock, Blagbrough, Kelly, King, Jordan-Roberts.