ELLIOT Watt accepts the high demands of playing for City – and the stick that will follow a defeat.

Stuart McCall’s side have come in for plenty of criticism following Harrogate’s televised win at Valley Parade on Monday.

It was City’s first league loss of the season and provoked a strong reaction from the armchair audience.

Watt can understand their frustrations but insists the players were hurting as much as the supporters watching on TV.

He said: “You know what you are going to get with this club. The expectations are really high from where the club has been and wants to get back to.

“You have to take it on your shoulders and understand that any loss is not acceptable for a club of this standard.

“To lose like that was really disappointing and you have to understand the fans are going to be disappointed.

“But by no means are the fans more disappointed than us in the changing room.

“But we have a good togetherness and will bounce back and put a smile on the fans' faces really soon.”

The summer capture from Wolves is determined to do that at the first opportunity when City head for Mansfield on Saturday.

It starts a hectic run where they will also be in action every midweek, bar two, up to Christmas.

He added: “The good thing about football is that you have another game to put it right. There’s no time to mope.

“Our focus is on Mansfield and looking to bounce back. We’ll see what we wrong against Harrogate and work on it in training.

"We have got a really good group and the gaffer has recruited really well. There’s a really good togetherness in the team.

“Monday was not our night but we will get around each other. Just because we have had one bad game doesn't mean we are a bad team.

“We have got a lot of quality in there so we will bounce back.”

Watt has been arguably City’s most consistent performer in the early stages of the season. But he felt that League Two new boys Harrogate displayed more hunger in their first competitive visit to Valley Parade.

Watt admitted: “They wanted it more than us and that is not acceptable.

"We knew what we were going to get from them. They have got a team who have been together for a while now and we knew what we would be in for.

“Their manager has been there for a long time and implemented his ideas and they play really well for how they want to play the game.

“We knew it would be a tough game and had to do the basics well in winning the first and second balls and fighting for the three points. I don’t think we did that.

"When we put a few passes together, we did create some good chances. You have just got to have the composure to take those chances when it is not your night.

“They kept on top of the game and we could not get our quality and patterns going. It was a very disappointing night but we will go to Mansfield and look to put it right.”

Paudie O'Connor is still suspended for the final game of his ban this weekend. Zeli Ismail also remains sidelined but Gareth Evans' fitness is being assessed.