STEVE WATSON insists he will back his York City players "to the hilt" - but demands they do their bit too.

The manager's comments come following a 2-1 loss to Guiseley, which prompted Watson to call for more "bottle" from York at Bootham Crescent.

Goals from former York players Hamza Bencherif and Kaine Felix ensured a second defeat from two on home turf for the Minstermen following the previous Saturday's loss to Darlington.

Ahead of the visit of National League North's bottom side Bradford Park Avenue on New Year's Day, Watson also says there is little room for manoeuvre in the transfer market now, but is hopeful for January.

He said: "We need a reaction against Bradford, and we need three points. That's certain.

"Can we go to Southport and get a result? I'm very confident we can.

"If we can bring six points back over the next two games and sit down at the start of January and know exactly what we need to do, we'll have a chat with Dave (Penney) and the chairman. If we're really serious about winning this league or being in a high promotion place, we'll sit down and address it.

"There's very little we'll be able to do for the next two games. The chances we had to bring people in have been turned down.

"The other thing I will say is that this group of lads, six weeks ago, were being raved about.

"Most of the signings in the summer were met with huge positivity and they haven't turned into a bad bunch of players because we've had a few indifferent results, and I'll back them to the hilt.

"But they need to do their part now, they need to step up to the plate, especially at home."

Responding to fans' calls for new recruits, Watson said it is something he has been looking at his options, but is exercising caution about the younger players York could potentially get in on loan. He also reiterated the difficulties he and assistant Micky Cummins have faced of late.

"It isn't fantasy football, you can't get six players in and six players out of the door," he said.

"But I totally agree that we do have to look at that now.

"We've waited a long time for Dan (Maguire) to be fit because we were hoping he would be the missing piece.

"He got his first 30 minutes today and we'll have a look at him for Saturday, see how he recovers.

"I would say for a month now me and Micky have been enquiring but it's a very tough time to get people in.

"Something might drop in January.

"Unless we're going to buy players, which I'm not sure is possible, we're going to have to look at the loan market and at under-23s, and you've got to be sure they're the right ones.

"You see them playing every week in under-23 football, which at times is pretty much non-contact and it's always a bit of a gamble whether they'll work here or not.

"We've probably had five or six enquiries turned down but we are working on that side of things.

"I'm not daft. I know exactly what's expected, I know exactly where we want to be, and I know what we need to do to put it right, but the lads have to meet us halfway with the bravery and the bottle to play at home like a team that's looking to win this league."

A bright point for York over the last two and a half games has been midfielder Kieran Green, who seems to be relishing in his role at the minute.

"By putting Greeny where he has been the last two games," Watson said. "It's clear in my mind where his best position is.

"He'll frustrate you because he'll try a backheel or a nutmeg in the second half when you think it's a time to keep the ball.

"He's like a gazelle at times, he's got pace and strength and he's had two great hours in both games."