MICKY CUMMINS believes that the potential of some of York City's young gems could extend "even beyond the league above".

He and manager Steve Watson were asked what proportion of the squad they felt were fit for the National League, should the Minstermen achieve promotion this term.

The pair gave glowing testimonies of sections of the squad at the fans' forum in January, and also seemed confident for the future as they would have the ability to develop their team with some momentum behind them.

Assistant boss Cummins said: "We've got some players who have coped really well at the level above and there are younger players - Kieran Green, Josh King, Harry Spratt - whose potential could be even beyond the league above.

"Come to the summer, we'll have two players contracted in Pete and Paddy. So there are players in the group who are well capable of playing in the division above.

"If we do get promoted - and we plan to - you look at the market again to improve and to kick on.

"Success breeds positivity and you gather a good squad who believe they can achieve anything.

"There are those players who have massive potential, and players who are at their level, but we're getting a lot out of them."

Watson added: "There are players we know can step up to the next level and we have to nail them down.

"There are some players we've all seen now who are going to make that step up and are only going to get better, and there are players who may not.

"None of us want to be in this league longer than we need to be.

"We inherited a squad that had nine contracted for another year. Some haven't been part of my plans, as you'll have seen by sending them out on loan seeing if they could prove it to me elsewhere, because I couldn't guarantee them games here."

In response to a connected question, Watson also spoke of the role "we all have to play" in helping boost players' confidence, particularly at home.

After the 2-1 defeat to Guiseley at Bootham Crescent, Watson called for braver on-field performances, but - with a distinguished 19-year playing career under his belt - he can understand where the players are coming from.

When asked what is in the mind of some players that makes them nervous, he responded: "It's an issue for football in general.

"When you look at certain players, like the younger lads, they have never played at a club this size with the expectation and the frustration of where we are.

"Sometimes - without going into the specifics of why, because I'm not a sports psychologist - when things aren't going well or we do have a downturn in a game, a performance or a spell - and let's get it right, we haven't kept to the standard we set, we have had a dip - they find it hard some of them to get themselves out of that.

"This is a huge club for a lot of our players, a club some might never play higher than, and it's tough sometimes if they think things are going wrong and you don't get the sudden roar of 'come on, keep going'.

"I think you'll find that at most clubs, but not many clubs at this level have the size of crowd, stadium and history of York City.

"When things are going wrong - especially at home - the part they find hard.

"What can we do to address that? We've been trying to go through certain amount of positivity stuff with people I've known from the game.

"Ultimately, we all have a part to play in helping them through that. They're young lads and some of them do find it hard."