JOHN ASKEY has said York City's defeat at Kidderminster Harriers has given them a "gauge" and reiterated his desire to strengthen the squad.

Goals from Amari Morgan-Smith, Omari Sterling and Sam Austin gave the high-flying Harriers a richly deserved 3-0 win over the lacklustre Minstermen.

City have harboured promotion hopes from the day they were relegated to National League North, and could have closed the gap to the play-off spots with a win on Saturday after weeks of forced inaction.

With defeat, though, they slip to 14th, while Kidderminster rise to fourth.

"We weren't good enough today, it's as simple as that," said interim boss Askey.

"I can make excuses but we've got to be better.

"We always knew it was going to be tough and it gives us a gauge on where we are at the moment.

"We've got to improve.

"One way to improve is by getting new players in to give a bit more quality.

Askey has been stripping away the players he feels have not hit the mark as he continues to remould the side. Between those departed players, though, and others returning to or lacking fitness, he has a thin squad to work with, exhibited by assistant manager Kingsley James' name appearing on the subs' bench.

"Michael Woods was playing today and he's been out for months," Askey added.

"Scott Barrow has had Covid and asthma.

"We're down to the bare bones.

"Mitch is playing as a sitting midfield player and he's not that.

"I know the reasons why and we've got to strengthen.

"If we do that, we'll be more than capable.

"But it just wasn't good enough today.

"I think the first two goals were very avoidable," he continued. "The first one was ridiculous. It should be dealt with.

"If you're giving goals away like that, you've got problems."