JAMES FORD reckons old stager Graeme Horne underlined the team ethic in the York City Knights ranks by putting aside personal preferences in the search for squad success.

Horne was one of the many standout performers in Friday night's superb 23-16 win at play-off rivals Sheffield Eagles, a result which kept Ford's upstarts firmly entrenched in the top five of the Betfred Championship and on course for a play-off berth.

But the head coach had extra praise for the former Hull KR forward for the way he changed his usual style of play to help ensure victory.

He explained: "Horney is a footballing front-rower. He wants to go out there and move the ball and show people what he can do.

"But in that second half (at Sheffield), that wasn't needed. What was needed was to finish (sets) in good areas and put the ball in difficult areas for them to start their sets, and back our defence.

"I was really pleased that Horney sacrificed some of his game for the team's game, and that for me stands us apart from some other sides in this division."

Ford, meanwhile, was happy to have an extra two days' recovery time this week, ahead of the trip to Batley Bulldogs on Sunday.

A number of players complained after Friday's match that the artificial surface at Olympic Legacy Park was particularly hard on the body, with several showing signs of stiffness and discomfort afterwards.

Ford said of the extra rest: "The boys will need it. We're normally straight into the next game, or it has seemed that way over the last week or so.

"If you look at Liam Salter, he's played every minute of every game recently, and he plays incredibly tough - he carries tough, he tackles tough. He's due a bit of downtime, a bit of recovery time."