BOSS James Ford reckons anything short of a "nine or 10 out of 10" performance will leave York City Knights staring at defeat tomorrow and falling out of the Championship's top five.

The promoted Knights' hopes of bagging an unlikely play-off place were hit hard by last week's Summer Bash crash against Featherstone Rovers but were given a shot in the arm by the double loan swoop on Thursday for powerful Hull KR duo Junior Vaivai and Will Oakes.

They now go to big guns Widnes Vikings (3pm) with Ford eyeing another top-notch display like the ones that have turned over the likes of Leigh Centurions, Bradford Bulls, Halifax and Widnes themselves in the reverse fixture at Bootham Crescent on Easter Monday - which coincidentally followed immediately after a heavy loss to Featherstone.

Asked if that 17-10 comeback victory gave his team more confidence heading over to Cheshire tomorrow especially after last week's humbling in Blackpool, he said: "We're always confident.

"But we know if we want to win we have to give a nine or 10 out of 10 performance. Anything less and you will get beaten. If it's a six or seven out of 10, teams can put 40 points on you.

"That's happened to us. It's happened to other teams - to Featherstone, to Toronto, to Toulouse, to Halifax. It's about being resilient and not letting it impact on the rest of your season."

Asked if he was looking for a response to last week's 42-10 defeat, Ford said: "Last week's performance was not that far away. You're talking fine margins at this level.

"Thirty-plus minutes into the game and there was nothing between the sides but an interception try. If we'd had a bit more experience and more tidy combinations it could have been us 6-0 up, but we weren't.

"We switched off just before half-time. We just need to make sure we maintain our concentration. We need to start the second half at a much better level and we need to execute better with the ball.

"But there were lots of positives and we need to be confident about aspects of our performance.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the players and the team take a step forward."

York have not won in their few visits to Halton Stadium down the years and they were turned over 44-12 in their Challenge Cup fifth round tie there in April, albeit when fielding largely a fringe team and ending the match with only 11 fit players.

Asked if the Knights wanted to show Widnes "the real York", Ford said: "I think we did that over Easter.

"The Challenge Cup is a different competition. Games that have been played have no impact on the games that are to come.

"This game starts at 0-0 and we know that we will need to play very well to give ourselves a chance to win. We won't be hung up on the result of the Challenge Cup game."