JAMES FORD has insisted that there are still plenty more improvements to come from his York City Knights side after sealing their first victory of the 2020 season.

York were twice trailing but managed to fight back to defeat London Broncos 24-22 at the Ealing Trailfinders in the Coral Challenge Cup fourth round.

The win was the Knights’ first of the new season after suffering back-to-back Betfred Championship defeats at Toulouse and Leigh at the start of the campaign.

Ford insisted that the slow opening to the season hadn’t been of particular concern given the promising signs shown in their displays.

“We were never worried,” head coach Ford told BBC Radio York, when asked about his first win of the year. “You don’t turn into a bad side overnight.

“We were defending well and we’ve been playing some very good teams and we were in games where, at the back end, we needed to find a little bit more fluency with the ball.

“We’re not there yet, but we’re going in the right direction.

“Obviously we’re not the finished article and there’s still a lot more improvements left in us.

“But I’ve got a dressing room of lads desperate to carry on working hard and desperate to be the best that they can be.

“I’m looking forward to the supporters getting behind us.”

The coach singled out his pair of hookers, Will Jubb and Kriss Brining, for individual praise.

Brining assisted forward James Green for York’s first try before half-time, while Jubb had a typically industrious performance.

“Kriss has obviously been injured for a long time - since before the play-offs last year,” said Ford.

“We’ve missed him and he’s getting back to his best.

“He’s had a good pre-season, in terms of his weights, which will help him coming back from that neck and shoulder injury.

“Now it’s just a case of fine-tuning some small details and getting some match sharpness in him.

“He played some decent minutes today, over half an hour.

On Jubb, Ford added: “He puts a lot into his game

“Technically, Will Jubb is an outstanding player. His service is fantastic, his deception on approach is brilliant.

“In terms of his ability to manage the team and the game plan, he’s right up there with the best that I’ve worked with.

“And, defensively he’s come on leaps and bounds.

“He’s a young man and he’s done it tough for us. We’ve played with one hooker on numerous occasions (but) he doesn’t moan, he just gets on with it.

“We’re pleased to have him.”

This weekend York resume their league season when they make the trip to Halifax, aiming for their first two points of the season.

Fax have finished in the Championship’s top four twice in the past three seasons and added Super League players Jodie Broughton, Keegan Hirst and Scott Grix to their squad in the off-season.

Ford said: “Halifax are a good side. They’re well coached and they’re big.

“Scott Murrell is a very clever player and Grix is a very smart full-back. The wingers are a real handful too.

“We’ll need to make sure that we defend tougher than we did today and take another step forward with the ball.”