JAMES FORD is fed up of people "moaning about the challenges the game throws at them" - arguing his York City Knights side are relishing the tasks afoot.

The Knights fly out to south France today to take on Toulouse Olympique in the Betfred Championship tomorrow (2.30pm UK time) just four days after completing a punishing Easter double-header against Featherstone and Widnes.

It is a gruelling schedule - made even more difficult by Toulouse's high-flying form - but Ford is far from complaining, saying that going up against these teams is something his club, promoted from League One last year, have long wanted.

"It's going to be a challenge with the short turnaround, plus booking flights and arranging itineraries and all the logistics," he said.

"But we don't HAVE to do this. We GET to do it.

"It annoys me when I see players moaning about the challenges the game throws at them.

"If you don't want to do it, then don't do it.

"I don't mean my players, by the way. We see it as a challenge and it's one we're enjoying."

Asked if he would have preferred to go to France at another time of the season rather than immediately after the double-header, he said: "Toulouse have played two tough games over Easter as well.

"I don't see it as an advantage for either side.

"The fixture list is what it is. There's not a lot we can do about it and it's not worth losing any sleep over."

Olympique, with the likes of Aussie-born international aces Johnathon Ford and points-machine Mark Kheirallah leading the way, are the highest-ranked of the three teams York have faced in their demanding recent programme, flying high in second.

While York were losing at Featherstone on Good Friday, the French outfit likewise fell heavily at Sheffield Eagles but they bounced back with a 56-4 thrashing of Halifax on Monday.

They are also the only team to have beaten moneybags leaders Toronto this term - handsomely, too, with a stunning 46-16 victory at Stade Ernest-Argelès in March.

The Knights, though, can draw level on points with them if they win, such is their own super start to the campaign.

Asked if this would likely be the toughest of three back-to-back fixtures, Ford said: "I don't want to talk about that. We're aren't making excuses.

"Every single game in the Championship is hard. Featherstone were superb against us, Widnes are a full-time side, albeit with one or two players missing - though so had we.

"Toulouse are an outstanding side and we will need to be at our very best.

"But to pick one fixture over another would be unfair on the other sides.

"We're aware it's a huge challenge.

"But we want to be in this division. We want to be tested by Toulouse, by Widnes, by Featherstone.

"This will be another massive test and we're looking forward to it."

Asked if Toulouse could challenge Toronto for the title, Ford said: "They're two points behind them in the league and put 40 points on them in their league game, so you have to say they have a chance."

He added: "We always go in confident. We believe in ourselves and that we're moving towards being a good side.

"We don't always get everything right but there's never a lack of effort or endeavour and we stick together and focus on improvement."

The Knights have gone to Toulouse a number of times before - including thrice under Ford in the 2016 League One season. On those occasions, they stayed in France an extra night, but in this instance they will fly home after the game.

"I think it's a better schedule," reasoned Ford. "There's no reason for us to stay overnight after the game.

"We get back, the players get to spend Sunday with their families, and they're back in the country a day earlier and can start preparing for Batley Bulldogs the week after."