HEAD coach James Ford insists York City Knights cannot take anything for granted as they host Dewsbury Rams at Bootham Crescent tomorrow.

The two sides were well matched when they last met in February, with York nicking a 26-22 victory on Dewsbury's patch thanks to Matty Marsh's 78th-minute try and Connor Robinson's penalty on the final hooter.

But they have been on contrasting paths since, with the Knights now chasing a play-off place, sitting joint-second on points with 12 wins from 18, whereas the Rams are in a relegation dogfight, sitting joint-second-bottom on points with just four wins and one draw from 17.

"It feels like a long time ago now," said Ford of that reverse fixture, which came in round two of the league campaign and kicked off a run of five straight wins for the promoted Knights which set the platform for what has been a stellar season so far.

"Over at Dewsbury we didn't really learn anything. We already knew they were a good side and we knew they have big strong athletic players who are going to test you. We're expecting the same again."

While Ford selected largely a fringe team for their 1895 Cup quarter-final against Batley on Wednesday, which the Bulldogs won in golden-point extra time, Dewsbury made far fewer changes for their tie at Widnes, nevertheless going down 54-6 - making it 164 points shipped in their last three games since a big win over stragglers Rochdale.

The Knights, in that sense, could have fresher legs this weekend as well as being favourites on form alone.

But the Rams are desperate for points to climb away from the drop zone, and Ford duly had a warning for his troops.

"That was in the thinking when we selected the side on Wednesday, to try to make sure we had an abundance of energy for this league game," he explained of his reshuffle.

"But we can't rely on the fact Dewsbury played on Wednesday or how that's going to influence their performance.

"In sport, quite often surprises happen - teams turns up and play beyond the levels you've seen in previous weeks. The factors that you think might influence a team don't.

"We have to focus on ourselves. Whether or how Dewsbury played on Wednesday is irrelevant.

"We're expecting a tough game. They have got lots of big units and two experienced half-backs. We know we will have to be at nine or 10 out of 10.

"We have to hit our standards, play with energy and enthusiasm, defend in detail with aggression, turn the ball over in the right areas, and execute with the ball a bit better than we did on Wednesday.

"If we do that, I will be happy."