JAMES FORD believes that his current York City Knights group is far better placed at responding to a defeat in comparison to the club’s 2021 squad.

York fell to a 24-16 defeat at home to Barrow Raiders on Sunday and, at full-time, the Knights players quickly formed a huddle in the centre of the field rather than heading down the tunnel.

Captain Chris Clarkson and senior players Jordan Thompson and Brendan O’Hagan are understood to have led the post-match inquest into only a fourth defeat from 17 league matches, which leaves York third in the Betfred Championship.

“I’d contrast that to last year,” head coach Ford said, reflecting on last season’s side, which finished in a disappointing ninth.

“We’d have had seven sub-groups all blaming one another and whispering in corridors.

“(But) this group are in it together. They’re a very together group, they want to work hard and improve.

“In any sport, it’s impossible to win every week. Not even Manchester United in their pomp won every week.

“But that’s what we want to do. We’ll aim up at being better and I’m sure we will be.”

On what was said in the huddle, Ford revealed: “They probably said what I was going to say to them in the dressing room.

“We’ve probably pinched one or two games where we’ve not played to the levels we’re capable of. Now we’ve been on the other side of it.

“They thought that we made too many errors, and they thought that we gave away too many penalties. They know that they can perform a lot better than that.

“They’re going to bounce in on Tuesday and start our week really positively and aim up at Halifax (on Monday, 7.45pm).”