YORK City Knights head coach James Ford has insisted that he believes upcoming opponents Newcastle Thunder have “plenty of threats.”

York will take on Newcastle at Headingley on Sunday (6.15pm) as they look to build on the positives shown in their 30-22 loss to Featherstone Rovers.

The Knights have already played, and beaten, the Thunder twice this season, winning 42-13 in February and 38-6 in April, both at the LNER Community Stadium.

Ford, though, noted that York’s upcoming opponents have plenty of quality within their team.

“I think they’ve got plenty of threats,” he said.

“Craig Mullen at full-back has had a good season for them and he does possess plenty of attacking qualities. Gideon Boafo on the wing, scored a sensational try against Dewsbury.

“We can’t turn the ball over as loosely as Dewsbury did on that occasion, or we’ll have to turn and chase.

“I think they’ve got some experience and some big, strong, powerful forwards. Oliver Roberts, Ukuma Ta’ai, Mitch Clark, Brad Day, that we’re going to have to front up with our contact and show some intent, but that’s what York teams are about, so I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

York will be without second-row Pauli Pauli for the game, who was handed a one-game suspension for tripping against Batley Bulldogs.

Ford felt that the response shown by Pauli against Featherstone was nothing short of impressive.

“Well, what I think was Pauli’s response in the Featherstone game was superb," enthused Ford. "That’s the Pauli Pauli I want to see for the rest of the season, I thought he had a real quality game.

“We’re going to be working hard with him when he can’t play to make sure that, when he comes back, we see the best version of him for the rest of the season.

“The match review panel are fairly consistent in terms of the process they go through. The inconsistency is what actually goes to the match review panel.

“The referee reviewed the performance and sent it in, like what happens with 99-percent of sightings. I’ve no issue with that, as long as it remains consistent.”

York’s upcoming clash at Headingley will be part of the Betfred Championship Summer Bash.

Being moved from its traditional location of Blackpool, Ford was complimentary towards both the occasion and its new venue.

“I think it’s great, a good showcase event for the Championship," noted the Knights coach. "I’ve enjoyed watching it as a League One coach and being involved in it as a Championship coach. 

“My opinion on the Blackpool venue, I’m not sure how the supporters felt, but I thought it was quite a long way to go for supporters. 

“I think Leeds will be a better venue, it’s not as far to travel, I think it’ll be well attended and obviously the city itself is a great city. 

“I think the supporters will enjoy the areas around the ground.”

He continued: “(Headingley is) certainly wider than Blackpool, I was surprised, I think in 2019 I previewed games there but didn’t realise how narrow the field was, certainly with it being a football field.

“It looked bigger than it was. Headingley is an awesome surface, we trained there against Leeds in 2021 and obviously coached England there against Australia.

“I know what a quality surface it is, I know what a quality venue it is. Leeds are a world class organisation, let's be fair. 

“We’re really looking forward to going there and competing against Newcastle in a great stadium, we’re excited.”

York City Knights squad: Marsh, Brown, Glover, Ogden, O’Hagan, Ellis, Jubb, Teanby, Clarkson, Thompson, Dixon, Stock, Kirmond, Harris, Harrison, Towse, Michael, Ward, Edwards, Porter, Inman