York City boss Sam Collins is looking for his team to improve their defensive standards at Southport on Saturday, report York Press.

The Minstermen only conceded five goals in their opening eight matches of the campaign but have shipped seven in their last three National League North outings against Kidderminster (0-3), Guiseley (4-2) and Nuneaton (2-2).

And, despite last weekend’s FA Cup visitors St Ives Town not mustering a single on-target attempt, Collins was also disturbed by the number of free kicks his team conceded in dangerous areas – an unwanted habit that would be less likely to go unpunished against a lofty Southport side.

Speaking ahead of his first game as permanent City chief, Collins said: “We’ve been a little bit loose in certain positions and, whilst it’s hard to get everything to click at once and we’re still a little bit of a work in progress, you have to be well-organised at all times, which means never switching off and communicating well. Attacking wise, the players have taken on board the way we want to play, but we’ve got to get the balance right and we’ve been doing more work on the defensive side of the game this week, because we’ve got to be hard to beat and not too open to a counter attack.”

Read more: www.yorkpress.co.uk

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