YORK City skipper Mark Greaves has insisted under-fire manager Colin Walker has the full support of his players.

With just three wins from 17 Blue Square Premier games, the Minstermen have dropped to 15th in the table, ten points adrift of a play-off place.

Having started the season with top-five aspirations, fans have grown increasingly restless with City’s fortunes and vented their frustration at the end of Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat at Cambridge.

But City captain Greaves has stressed the players are more responsible than Walker for the team’s current standing.

He said: “The gaffer couldn’t do anything about Tuesday night. It was an indescribably poor performance and the worst we have played all season.

“The majority of the blame lies with the players as, once we cross the line, he can’t do much apart from some shouting and other bits and bobs, but he’s bearing the brunt of the criticism. Some players have come in for a bit of stick, but nothing compared to the manager.

“He’s certainly got my support and the rest of the lads, though, and we’ve got to take the criticism on the chin, rise above it and put things right.

“There’s absolutely no way in the world he’s lost the dressing room and I’m not just saying that because I wouldn’t back anybody who had.

“The lads are gutted for the gaffer as well as the fans. We know he’s under pressure and want to do well for ourselves and him.

“It’s a difficult situation we’re in, but I’ve been there at other times in my career and you need to stick together to get through it.”

Greaves accepts the team have under-achieved during the first 19 games of the season but feels the season can still be salvaged.

The 33-year-old midfielder said: “We’re not producing. You could say we’ve been unlucky here and there but, over the course of 19 games, we haven’t been good enough.

“We’re working hard to fix that. We’ve got 27 league games left and I’m always an optimist.

“We are still in a position where we can put things right because we’re not a million miles away. We’ve still got some of the lower teams to play (City are yet to play three of the bottom four clubs), although that’s not an excuse as I would have still expected us to do better against the stronger teams.”

Greaves also gains no personal satisfaction from finding himself in the unusual position of being the club’s joint-top marksman on four, adding that fellow midfielders Steven Hogg and Simon Rusk could hold the key to better fortunes in front of goal.

He said: “We’ve not scored enough goals – 22 from 19 games in the league isn’t good enough. We’re working on shooting and crossing in training but, at Cambridge, we didn’t put any in and only forced one corner.

“We need people like Simon Rusk and Steven Hogg – our more creative players – to produce what they can do. They are technically very good players and we’ve got to get the ball to them more than we have been doing.”

Greaves is now hoping Sunday’s return match against Crawley will remind the Minstermen of the early-season form they displayed in an opening day win at the Broadfield Stadium.

He said: “Hopefully, we can get back to that level of confidence. We looked solid at the back and created chances, as well as having a perfectly good goal disallowed.

“They’ve had a good run since and I’m looking forward to it to get Tuesday’s match out of my system. We need to show plenty of mental strength.”

City have confirmed that striker Richard Brodie’s current loan spell with Barrow will not be extended when the deal runs out after tomorrow’s games. The 21-year-old has scored four goals during his stay with the Cumbrian club but has found travelling from his North-East home difficult.