"YOU grow resilience by being challenged."

So said James Ford as his York City Knights side prepare to face opposition containing full-time players for the third successive week.

York make the trip to the capital to face London Broncos in the fourth round of the Coral Challenge Cup on Sunday afternoon (3pm), arguably the toughest game that could have been handed to them in the draw.

The match follows on from two successive defeats at the start of the new Betfred Championship season - at Toulouse Olympique and Leigh Centurions.

Ford was keen to insist that his squad are looking forward to being challenge by full-time opposition in London rather than being fearful of them.

“It’ll be a test for us," he said. "They’re another full-time side that we’re playing away from home.

“But, you grow resilience by being challenged.

“We’ve been challenged by Toulouse and Leigh and now London away.

“We’ll be better for it. We’ll be stronger mentally for these tough challenges.

“You don’t learn anything from just turning up and trouncing teams, 50, 60 or 144 to nil.

“You learn about yourself and your team from being challenged by full-time sides.

“London got 20 points last year in Super League, so they’re a good side. They did great last year and I think that they were everybody’s second favourite side last year.

“They’re a good side who are well-coached, they’re strongly defensively, kick to corners and have got an aggressive line speed. They’ve got lots of clarity about what they’re trying to do with the ball as well.

“We’re really looking forward to going down there and being challenged by them."

Ford had previously suggested that the Cup wasn't a priority to the Knights at this particular moment.

Elaborating on those comments, he explained: “When you’ve got a 23-man squad and a couple of them are injured already, I don’t think that you can prioritise every competition.

“We’ve got to look at the league competition and do as well in that as we possibly can.

“Having said that, we’ll go to London looking to try and find some fluency and form with the ball.

“We’ll go down there with the strongest 17 that we’ve got that’s available to us.

“We’ll be working our hardest to build some form to take into the Halifax game."

Including their play-off matches at the back end of the 2019 season, York have scored single digits in points in three in their last four competitive games.

Reflecting on the attacking flaws which saw the Knights 'nilled' against Leigh last weekend, Ford felt that the preparation had as much of an impact as the 80 minutes on the field.

“We made some really good opportunities, but the last pass or the last touch went to ground," he said.

“We missed some of those opportunities in terms of our decision-making.

“There were some opportunities that we just didn’t take.

“For example, when we were in the middle of the field and there are four defenders from the middle of the sideline and we’ve got six attackers and we’ve gone the other way, which is really disappointing.

“But it happens and it happens for a reason.

“These players don’t turn into bad players overnight.

"There’s obviously something in our preparation that we’ve not covered right or we’ve made it clear enough or we’ve not worked hard enough at some of the signals that we’re looking for.

“When stuff goes wrong on a matchday, it’s not just because the players haven’t done it.

“Obviously you’re preparation has an impact on it so we have to look at how we’ve prepared and get better."