YORK City just need to keep focused on themselves, believes Paddy McLaughlin, and they will "not be far away".

As it stands, the promotion-hunting Minstermen are 11 points behind leaders AFC Fylde, who occupy the National League North's coveted sole automatic promotion spot.

It is a lot of ground to make up, made to look even more daunting by the table-toppers' only recently-ended unbeaten start.

But York still trust in their ability, says midfielder-cum-stand-in-left-back McLaughlin, who believes City do not need to be looking up and longing just yet.

Rather, they must keep their heads down and pick up as many wins as they can, starting tomorrow at home to Blyth Spartans (3pm).

"I think they're all must-wins," he admitted "We're 10 games in but it's still fairly early in the season.

"We still believe in what we are and the quality we have as a squad. We know what we're capable of.

"I think we're more than capable of putting a winning run together but we just have to take it one game at a time. I know it's cliched.

"We just have to try and get three points in every game we play and not be too concerned about what anybody else is doing - just try and take care of ourselves. If we do that, we'll not be far away."

City head into the Blyth game off the back of a 2-1 midweek defeat at promotion-rivals Boston United, whose two spot kicks were enough to get them past a decent York side on the night.

"I don't think we deserved to lose the game," McLaughlin commented. "For maybe 10, 15 minutes at the start, they bombarded us with balls in the box, successive corners, throw ins, and they went ahead. That's where we needed to show a bit of character and I thought we did that.

"On the whole, I don't think there was anything in the first half, and then second half, I thought we were the better side.

"We restricted them to very little and we had a few chances to win the game.

"It was a bit of a sucker-punch when we conceded the goal because you're thinking, worst-case scenario, you're going to draw this.

"That's football. We've got to pick ourselves up and go again on Saturday."

Starting this season, the 30-year-old has occupied a dual role at York, as player and sports scientist.

As a result of York's injury crisis, he has deputised for long-term absentee Scott Barrow at left-back.

Asked if, from a sports science perspective, anything could have been done about the injuries, he said after some contemplation: "Injuries are part and parcel of football. If we could stop injuries, I think the clubs at the top level wouldn't have any. They have more resources than we do and the best players in the world pick up injuries.

"You can put things in place to try and reduce the amount of soft-tissue injuries but it's a contact sport and you're going to get various types of injuries.

"Scotty's and Newts' injuries were just completely freak. Sam's (Fielding) was an ankle injury where he rolled it, where there's not a lot to do to avoid it."

Meanwhile, 20-year-old summer signing Harrison Hopper has come in to midfield.

"He's done very well," said McLaughlin. "He impressed me in pre-season and on the training pitch. He's got loads of energy and he's good on the ball.

"I think he can be proud of what he's done so far."