Date: 23rd December 2017 at 7:46pm
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Manager Martin Gray insists his players must “stand up and be counted” following a third successive defeat at home to Blyth Spartans.

Striker Jon Parkin claimed another brace to take his own individual tally for the season to eighteen, but the dire hosts were always comfortably second-best during another embarrassing 3-2 reversal at Bootham Crescent.

“Absolutely gutted for the fans,” Gray told BBC Radio York. “You put in such a strong first-half performance and you’re 2-0 down. You ask questions – and individual errors again.

“It’s just very frustrating because since we’ve come in we’ve always been scoring goals, but we haven’t had a clean-sheet,” he added. “And until you can get a clean-sheet mentality, which we’ve worked very hard to do, then you’re forever going to play an open game that’s not going to get you the results that you want.

“You’ve got to ask yourselves as individuals are you doing your job right? Since we’ve come in we’ve changed so many things round with the professionalism that we’ve brought into the club and trying to stop the rot and negativity.

“The first-half today was very dominant but it gets forgotten about through the two individual errors. Daniel Rowe has got to do better for both goals, there’s no question about it. It costs you the game.

“But you can’t keep pointing the finger at defenders. You’ve got to look at what’s happening in front. If you look at the second goal, how he breaks through midfield – too easy. We had a real poor shape off the ball and we get punished for it.”

Meanwhile, Gray conceded that his side were actually decidedly fortunate to be awarded a first-half penalty after the recalled Aidan Connolly went down inside the area

“I don’t think it’s a penalty,” he admitted. “I’m not a cheat and don’t think it was a penalty. But it gets you back in the game and you take that bit of luck.”

The former Darlington chief has now called for his players to take greater responsibility ahead of their forthcoming seasonal double-header with bottom-of-the-table North Ferriby United.

“We’re here, we get paid well, we’re professional people and we’ve got to take criticism, myself and the players,” Gray commented. “There’s two things you can do. You can either all pull together in life and prove to be better.

“That’s one thing I’ve had to do all of my life. And the players I know are 100% with me, and they’ve got to stand up and be counted for now. Because if not we understand what football’s about, someone’s going to go.”

Audio Link: BBC Radio York