JAMES FORD praised the “backbone and character” of his York City Knights team to come from behind and beat Widnes Vikings, but insisted that there remain areas for improvement.

York trailed 14-8 at half-time after an error-strewn first 40 minutes. But they rallied to overturn that deficit and score 27 unanswered points in the second half.

The win ensured that the Knights returned to winning ways and kept their 100 per cent winning run on the road.

Head coach Ford maintains that his side still have much to do to reach the levels that they aspire to, on the back of that first-half performance.

He said: “I thought we started the game fairly well but in the last 20 minutes of the first half we were miles below the standards that we expect from a York team.

“We came up with some really poorly selected play fives, some poorly executed play fives, transitioned really poorly, gave penalties away, missed tackles.

“We just didn’t do end our attacking sets well and we didn’t end our defensive sets well.

“(With) the line breaks that led to a try, we need to be better.

“When you’ve got a collection of people coming up with sloppy things like that, the game can get away from you.

“We showed good composure, togetherness and fight to regroup at half-time and come out and really change the standard of our performance and obviously the direction of the game.”

The Knights looked like a different side after the break and capitalised on some Widnes ill-discipline to run in four tries without reply.

“I still don’t think our play fives were anywhere as good (as they should be),” said Ford. “I thought that we ran harder, we pushed the ball a little bit cuter. There were a couple of pieces of individual brilliance as well.

“A really, really famous coach, - I won’t name drop him - said to me a while ago, ’20 years ago, the best teams run hard, kick well, defend well and in 20 years' time, the best teams will run hard, kick well and defend well.

“We did two out of the three, so we really need to work on the one that we didn’t do particularly well."