Anthony Murray says his North Wales Crusaders players should be 'proud' of their performances against some of League One's big-spending sides this season.

The Cru's form has dipped of late, with the club currently 10th in the division after five defeats from their last seven league games.

But Murray believes that results must be viewed in context of the resources available to the Wrexham club compared to some of their rivals.

He said: "When you think about the budgets some of the teams in this league are working with compared to ours, there’s massive differences.

"There's a group of maybe fix or six teams at the top who are chasing the title and those play-offs and have thrown a lot of money at their squads to strengthen.

"We're a stable club, but we're not in a position to do that right now. For me it's pleasing that we've shown how capable we are of matching some of these teams on our day.

"There are only two games this season that I've been disappointed with how we've performed - against Newcastle and Oldham - otherwise we've acquitted ourselves pretty well against the big sides.

"And that's important to me, because as long as we keep pushing ourselves to improve and learning from the mistakes we make then we'll continue to progress as a club and we'll turn some of those near misses into victories.

"There's a lot to be proud of in terms of the good work we've done in some of those games and hopefully we'll see more and more of that in the games we've got left.

Currently in the midst of a testing run of fixtures, the Cru head to title-chasing York City Knights on Sunday.

A 68-6 mauling of Coventry Bears was the Knights' eighth successive league victory, a sequence that also saw a fine 30-28 victory at leaders Bradford Bulls a fortnight ago.

The Cru were turned over in a 31-4 defeat in June, with Murray braced for another stern test this weekend.

"It doesn't get any easier does it? They're flying and look like they are going to push Bradford all the way for the title this season.

"It's another massive test for us but all the pressure is on York this weekend. They're on a great run and won't want any slip-ups.

"We scored some really decent tries last week against Workington and stuck to our task really well for most of the game.

"Hopefully we'll see some big performances from our lads again and try to match York's physicality to get ourselves a result."

Last weekend's try scorers Dale Bloomfield , Earl Hurst and Alex Trumper are all available for the Cru's trip north.

Meanwhile York have strengthened their attacking options with the loan signing of Perry Whiteley from Championship side Keighley Cougars.

Head coach James Ford, who starts a two-game touchline ban tomorrow, said: “I’m pleased to bring in an outside back of Perry’s potential, I’d like to thank the supporters, sponsors and the board for backing me once again.

“Perry has the potential to be a quality player for the Knights if his attitude towards hard work and attention to detail is where it needs to be. I’m looking forward to working with him and facilitating his development.”