JOE KEYES has insisted that his sole focus is on the next York City Knights game after joining on loan from Hull Kingston Rovers.

Keyes was one of a trio of loan signings made by York last week, with the half-back joining Wakefield Trinity’s Yusuf Aydin and Castleford Tigers’ Lewis Peachey in securing a fortnight’s switch. All three made their debuts in Sunday’s 20-14 home defeat to Sheffield Eagles.

Former London Broncos and Bradford Bulls scrum-half Keyes had been struggling for game time at Hull KR, where Mikey Lewis and Jordan Abdull have been the preferred options in the halves.

And Knights head coach James Ford has spoken of his desire to keep the loanees on longer-term deals than the initial two weeks.

At present, Keyes says he is happy in his current position and that his eyes are set on York’s trip to Swinton on Sunday (12.45pm).

“It’s been great so far,” said Keyes on the loan. “Everyone’s been really welcoming and it has been made clear what I need to do while I’m here. Everyone has welcomed me with open arms here, so it’s been really good.

“I had spoken to Tony (Smith, head coach) at Hull (KR) and he said, ‘Let’s try and get you some games somewhere’.

“I had a couple of options but York seemed like a great fit and a great club, on and off the field, so I’m just privileged to be here.

“(Game time) is not there at the minute, but I’ll just have to bide my time and hopefully produce some better performances here and then we’ll see what happens. But at the moment I’m really happy.

“For me, it’s a game at a time.

“I know it’s a bit cliched but every team is the same. We’ll dust ourselves off after that game, have another look at it and see where we can improve and bounce back.”

Keyes’ debut against Sheffield at the weekend was his first competitive appearance since September.

Reflecting on his own performance, he commented: “I thought I was a bit sloppy early on, with a couple of errors and a few poor kicks in the first half but I feel like in the second half I was lot better.

“I got my hands on the ball a lot more, starting running with the ball and I was building in confidence. This is my first game for a while and it definitely felt like that, especially in that first half.

“But I need to be better and do my bit for the team a bit better than I did tonight. I’ll hold my hands up to that, work hard in training this week and try and improve.”

Playing in such a crucial position at half-back, Keyes admits that it will take time for an effective partnership to be forged between himself and stand-off Brendan O’Hagan.

“There’s a lot of new faces here and, for me as a half-back, I’m getting used to how other people play, where they run and how they carry, that sort of thing,” added the Ireland international.

“That comes with any new half-back that comes into any team, it’s not an overnight thing of knowing how the other one plays, so that’s something that we’ll keep on working on in training.”

The 25-year-old will be hopeful of sealing a first win in a York jersey when the Knights make the trip to Swinton this weekend.

Looking back at the defeat to Sheffield, he said: “They got their 18 points in the first half and I think they played quite conservatively after that, they kept hold of the ball in the right areas, put us in the right areas and managed to come out on top.

“They held onto the ball well, finished in the right areas and if you do that by completing high, then you’ll go a long way to winning the game.

“Credit to Sheffield, they played really well, especially in the first half.

“They did to us what we wanted to do to them.”