YORK City boss Martin Gray has insisted that his team owe their supporters an “outstanding performance” this weekend at Telford.

The Minstermen chief was left smarting by a capitulation at second-bottom Boston in the club’s last outing, with the Lincolnshire hosts recovering from trailing 1-0 at the interval to take maximum points with goals from Jordan Keane and Ashley Hemmings.

Defeat also meant City have only won one of their last six away fixtures and Gray is demanding better at the New Bucks Head.

“The players have been really positive in training and we’re looking for a reaction now,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure we give the fans something back because, during that last half-hour at Boston, we let them down.

“We’ve all got to take a portion of that criticism on board and I want the supporters to come back on the bus from Telford having enjoyed an outstanding performance.”

With last weekend’s City starting XI only including one player – Adriano Moke – without Football League experience to his name, Gray has also challenged his players to start living up to their reputations in the sixth tier of the English game against a Telford team he expects to play attractive football.

“They are very much a footballing side in a similar style to Kidderminster in terms of the way they try and play,” the City chief explained. “Boston proved last weekend that nobody gives you a win in this league.

“Everywhere you go, you have to earn the right to win and see games through and we need to learn that. We should be winning more games on paper and, player for player with other teams, we are strong.

“There’s no question about that but, equally, that means nothing. We have to complement that with good performances and not have half-an-hour spells where we’re ill-disciplined.”

The Minstermen will have completed half of their National League North campaign after the Telford contest and Gray went on to admit that their current league standing of ninth – as low as the club have been since the opening-day defeat to Saturday’s hosts – is not good enough.

“We’ve got to be in the play-offs – it’s as simple as that,” Gray confessed of his side’s position two places and two points outside the top seven. “Sitting ninth is not good enough for anybody with the expectation at the club and the pressure that comes with that, so Telford is a must-win game, because we need to be back in those play-offs, come 5pm.”

With another new signing being lined up, personnel changes are again expected, along with a possible tactical approach.

Daniel Rowe’s midfield anchoring role is one potential position under review, with Gray pointing out: “I think he (Rowe) played the majority of games for Wycombe as a defensive midfielder in a two or three, but he’s also played a fair few matches at right-back, so we’ve got room for movement there.

“We’re still trying to work out the best personnel for the right positions and formations and we’ve been looking at that in training.”

Former Premier League striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, meanwhile, will be making his full league debut for the hosts, after bagging a brace in last weekend’s 4-2 FA Trophy triumph against Droylsden and, on the threat he will pose, Gray reasoned: “Everybody will be a bit surprised to see him there, but he scored two goals in his first game for them and, whilst he’s not as fit as he was, his good habits won’t have changed.

“Like Big Jon (Parkin), for us, these players have a knack of scoring goals and he will be a handful.”