BRADFORD (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower has bemoaned his side's lack of killer instinct, warning that has to improve if they are to recover from a nightmare second half of 2019.

He said there was no problem with his side creating good chances, but even that could be under threat, with exciting attacker Lewis Knight ruled out for a while after picking up an early injury in the 5-0 defeat at Farsley Celtic on Saturday.

The games do not get any easier, with Avenue visiting York at Bootham Crescent today, having lost the reverse fixture on Boxing Day 2-0.

One consolation for Bower is that a couple of key, experienced players should return to the fold, having missed the Farsley horror show.

Discussing what separates promotion chasers York and Farsley from rock-bottom Avenue, Bower said: "Farsley are in the play-offs and they're making it count when it matters.

"We're on top in games but not showing composure and taking our chances.

"That cost us at Farsley and we've got to improve on it. Even against York on Boxing Day, they were the better team, but we produces some openings and got into good areas early on.

"Going to York (today) for example we won't get loads of chances, so we've got to be more clinical.

"If we get in front, like we did against Altrincham a few weeks ago, we can see out games. But we need to be more ruthless, in both boxes."

They were not ruthless in their own box in the second half at Farsley. They were drawing 0-0 at half-time, but capitulated after the break.

Bower said: "It was the perfect storm. There were a couple of poor refereeing decisions, combined with us not doing our jobs from set-pieces.

"It was sloppy but also showed our inexperience. We've got a few lads in on loan, still learning their trade and that's just the harsh realities of football at this level. If you switch off, you get punished.

"But it was the whole team that struggled in the second half at Farsley. You could see the confidence drained out of us after two or three goals went in. They were too strong and overcame us."

There is a risk that York could prove too strong today as well, and there is some mixed news for Avenue on the injury front.

Bower said: "Lewis (Knight) picked up a back injury at Farsley and we expect he'll have a few weeks out.

"It's not ideal, especially because he started that game so well. He got in behind early doors and worked well with Tom Clare up front.

"That's why it's frustrating. Every time we seem to put a tactic in place, something disrupts it. But we'll look at countering that problem.

"Jon Royle only missed Farsley through illness though, so he should be fine for York. Adam Nowakowski should be available too.

"They were both a big miss at Farsley. They give us experience and it was a bad pitch. They'd have dealt it with it better than some others.

"So it's great to have them back for York at least."

Asked whether the festive schedule is too much for a part-time team like Avenue, Bower said: "It's tough but the players are used to having two games a week early on in the season, then later in the year when we catch up on postponements.

"Two games in three days (Boxing Day and Saturday) is hard though, and it's not ideal to be playing a full-time team like York next. But we've just got to get on with it."