JAMES FORD is seeking a response from his York City Knights side tomorrow afternoon (3pm) following “some really frank discussions” in the wake of the 40-24 defeat to Halifax Panthers last time out.

York’s winning streak came to an end at seven Betfred Championship matches against in-form Halifax, who have now won eight of their last eight, condemning the Knights to their first loss since loss in the league since February.

Conceding 40 points was a particular frustration for Ford, with York not having let in as many points against exclusively fellow part-time opposition in a league match since 2016.

Also, having held opponents to just two tries or fewer in six of their previous 10 league matches, seeing such a defensive collapse especially hurt.

After a break due to last weekend’s Betfred Challenge Cup final, York will be seeking to return to winning ways when they visit Sheffield Eagles tomorrow.

“It wasn’t nice viewing, having looked back at it,” said Ford of the Halifax defeat. “But that’s a really important part of the response and the process of getting better as a team, a club and a coach.

“We’ve had some really frank discussions in regards to it. We’ve spotted some areas that we fell short in.

“We trained on Sunday. Most clubs probably had the weekend off with the Challenge Cup and the 1895 Cup (finals) but we were really disappointed with where we were at.

“We don’t believe that that was us. You are what you consistently do and we’ve been consistently better than that.

“We were pretty annoyed, to be honest, and we had a pretty tough week since. Now it’s about crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s and getting right for Sheffield.”

The Knights have no easy touch in their quest for a response, facing seventh-placed Sheffield, a side that have only lost to top three clubs Featherstone Rovers, Leigh Centurions and Halifax in the league since February.

Mark Aston’s squad may also be experiencing a new ground boost, having begun life at the newly-revamped Olympic Legacy Park with a 34-24 win over play-off rivals Widnes Vikings last week.

Speaking about the Eagles, Ford said: “Attacking-wise, QLT (Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e) gives them that passing threat and organisation from the back.

“Bish (Ben Jones-Bishop) and Welly (Kris Welham) on the right are two experienced players who pose a threat.

“They’ve got some decent players in the middle as well. Brandon Douglas is someone that we looked at (in the off-season).

“So we’re expecting a very good team in Sheffield, reinforced by their dual registration with Wakefield (Trinity).

“We’re not sure what 17 they’ll go with but whatever 17 they go with, Mark will have them pumped and going after us.”

Ford was also eager to highlight the threat posed by Sheffield’s talismanic half-back Anthony Thackeray who, even in his final year as a professional rugby league player, has scored 11 tries in 14 appearances so far this season.

“He’s a very dangerous player,” said the York boss. “He’s still very quick, plays across defenders really effectively and we’ve had a good look at his famous show-and-go.

“We need to be alert on him all the time and when we get hold of him, we need to let him know that he’s been got hold of.”