YORK City manager Martin Foyle admitted he faces bigger problems than he expected in his new job after losing 1-0 to lowly Grays.

Foyle’s side were booed off the KitKat Crescent pitch after his first home game as manager saw troubled Grays end a run of ten straight league defeats on the road.

The Minstermen, lying just six points above the Blue Square Premier relegation zone after this result, went down to Wesley Thomas’ 26th-minute goal despite having 21 shots at the visitors goal and forcing 11 corners.

The new City chief said: “There are more problems here than I probably anticipated.

“The team has only won three of the last 23 matches so things can’t have been that good, but confidence is a lot lower than I thought from speaking to the players and watching them in training.

“The strikers criticised themselves afterwards and we had enough chances to win two or three matches, but the hardest part of the game is putting the ball in the net.”

Craig Farrell had a particularly torrid time in front of goal, failing to take three first-half one-on-one chances, but Foyle was careful to make any criticism constructive, saying: “I could bury the players into the ground but, as a striker, I’ve been there myself.

“Good players always try again to get another goal. Craig looked happier when he went out wide to stick crosses in, but we’ve got to be careful.

“It’s so easy to knock players and everybody jumps on the bandwagon. I have to go the other way and try to get some more out of them.”

Foyle maintained he would not be making rash decisions over players’ futures on the evidence of his first two games at the helm.

He added: “People have to be given a chance. It’s easy to talk about getting rid of players, but some people might say ‘Who wants them?’ and you also need to think about who you can attract.”

While City’s strikers came under the spotlight, Mark Robinson was also culpable after losing possession for Grays’ first-half goal.

He was later substituted on 65 minutes and, about the left-back’s error, Foyle said: “It was another mistake, like at Salisbury. You just have to defend in those situations.

“Stick the ball in row Z if you have to. Maybe Robbo’s not done that in his career, but you never take people on when you’re on the edge of your own penalty box.”

Substitute Adam Boyes had a second-half goal disallowed after Daniel McBreen and Grays ’keeper David Button collided in the box, but Foyle admitted the decision did not surprise him.

He also sympathised with upset supporters at the final whistle, saying: “I can understand their frustrations because, even though the players worked hard, the final pass, though ball and cross were not good enough.

“For as long as you don’t take your chances as well, it puts pressure on your defence although I thought the two centre-halves and Ben Purkiss were outstanding again. We’ve just got to get things right all over the pitch.”

Simon Russell was withdrawn at half-time with a tight hamstring. Striker Bruce Dyer was sidelined with the same problem, while Onome Sodje missed out because of tonsillitis. All three will face late fitness tests before tomorrow night’s match at high-flying Histon.