YORK City captain Daniel Parslow has admitted a Wembley appearance in the FA Trophy final would prove “irrelevant” if the club were to suffer relegation.

Martin Foyle’s men stayed a perilous point above the Blue Square Premier drop zone after Tuesday night’s dismal 2-0 defeat at Rushden and Diamonds and would still plunge into the bottom four if Grays and Barrow take advantage of their games in hand.

Meanwhile, AFC Telford await in a two-legged FA Trophy semi-final, to be played on March 14 and 21, but Parslow – handed the skipper’s armband in the absence of Mark Greaves and David McGurk – feels a win in that tie would prove hollow if the Minstermen fail to stave off the threat of Blue Square North before the May 9 showcase final.

He said: “Playing at Wembley is obviously everybody’s dream but it would seem an irrelevant day out if we were relegated. I’d rather stay up and see York City established as a Conference club.

“The semi-final will be here in a couple of weeks but, after Saturday, we were all told to put the semi-final to the back of our minds because we had three important league games first. You have to prioritise and, at the moment, that means ensuring survival so to say the FA Trophy is a distraction cannot be used as an excuse for Tuesday’s performance.”

Manager Foyle was strong in his criticism after the Rushden match, lamenting a lack of passion – an accusation that Parslow hopes to prove unfounded.

He said: “Everybody shows passion differently. Some shout and scream while others lock it away.

“I cannot speak for everybody but I know that I, for one, care a lot about York City and want to give it my all every time I go out on to the pitch.”

Parslow added that the players accept sole responsibility for the display at Nene Park.

He also expressed his sympathy for the 87 supporters who made the 300-mile round trip.

He said: “The players that went on to the pitch were better than that performance so that can’t be down to the manager. The fans also pay their money to watch us in their spare time and travelled for three-and-a-half hours to watch a performance that wasn’t good enough for a York City team.

“I can only assure them that it hurts us just as much when we look at the table and we know it’s up to us to put things right.”

With 14 league games left, Parslow also believes fixtures against relegation rivals Grays, Northwich, Barrow, Lewes and Forest Green (twice) will prove crucial.

He said: “Each game is becoming more important. We’ve still got to play all the teams down there and must make sure we are ready for the scrap.

“We need to find some form sooner rather than later and don’t want to be relying on results in the last few games of the season. We’ve struggled for consistency but that’s what we need now. For a start, we’ve got to be harder to beat which I don’t think we have been.”

City face troubled Weymouth next for the first time this season on Saturday.

The cash-strapped Terras fielded a youth team during last weekend’s 9-0 home drubbing against Rushden but Parslow is taking nothing for granted, saying: “No game is ever a formality and I’m sure they will have added some experienced faces before Saturday.

“It’s still a good opportunity though for us to pick up three points we desperately need against a team who are in trouble like ourselves.”