Anthony Murray insists that spirits remain high in the North Wales Crusaders camp despite their recent slump in form.

The depleted Wrexham club were beaten 30-0 at York City Knights in their latest outing, slipping to a seventh defeat from their last nine League One fixtures.

Two converted tries from Sam Scott put York 12-0 ahead at the interval, before an even stronger second half showing saw the Knights amass a further 18 unanswered points.

Cru coach Murray refused to be overly critical of his side, insisting that his players could 'hold their heads up high' after their latest showing.

He said: "We did travel light and were missing four of the players who featured in the Workington squad, but we're not using that as any type of excuse.

"Even if we'd been at full strength this was always going to be a tough ask to come here and match a side who've spent a lot of money this season.

"There's some serious talent in their squad and they have big aspirations of playing in the Championship next season.

"But from our point of view I can't fault our players at all, I thought they were tremendous.

"We were put under so much pressure by York in that first half and I felt the fact that we kept them to just 12 ponts was testament to how well organised we were in defence.

"From 1 to 17 I thought we gave a really good account of ourselves in the circumstances.

"We can't have too many complaints about the result though, because on the occasions we put them under pressure we didn't really make it count.

"I felt there was a 15-minute spell in the game when we got on top with some good territory and possession but we couldn't get over the line.

"Every one of my players battled well and could hold their heads up high afterwards. It was just a case of York's class coming through in that second half and they outwitted us at times with their finishing quality."

Currently 10th in the league table, the Cru's chances of reaching the play-offs have effectively been ended by a poor sequence of results.

But Murray is refusing to be downbeat about their run-in, and has called for a 'realistic' appraisal of the club's current situation.

"We've got six games left and if the players show those same levels of commitment and enthusiasm as they have in recent weeks then results will pick up", he added.

"Of course we want to win every game that we play in this league, but we've also got to be realistic about where we are right now as a club.

"In the last six weeks we've played five of the division's current top six and we play Bradford at the weekend.

"These are all teams who've invested a lot financially in getting promoted and who are desperate for points.

"We're in a tough run of fixtures right now, but I fully believe that if we show the same levels of passion and enthusiasm that we have in this tough period then we can finish the season on a high."