York's new manager Nigel Worthington has told the squad he has inherited they have until the end of the season to play for their futures.
The 51-year-old former Norwich and Northern Ireland boss was installed on Monday morning as successor to Gary Mills, who was sacked following Saturday's 2-0 home defeat to Bradford, despite having steered the Minstermen to a promotion and FA Trophy double last May.
York have now gone 11 league games without a win and lie 18th in npower League Two, just four points above the relegation zone. Worthington told Press Association Sport: "There's a lot of players out of contract in the summer and to get a job in football now is not easy."
He added: "So for this club to stay in the Football League may be, could be, a wonderful thing for some of the players, who are out of contract and looking for work next summer.
"For all the good football we play, we need to play with more energy, we need to play closer to the opposition's goal and probably play at a higher tempo and that's possible, they're capable of that. We need to get points, we need 11 more points as soon as possible.
"So we've got to go and deliver on the pitch over the course of 90 minutes, game in, game out, to achieve what the football club wants and deserves. First of all that's to preserve League Two status and then we can start to look and plan ahead."
Worthington confirmed he had turned down several offers from higher up the league in the 15 months since he stepped down from his role as Northern Ireland coach.
The former Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds defender revealed he first spoke about the vacancy on Sunday at lunchtime after receiving a call from club chairman Jason McGill.
"During the course of the conversation I felt very comfortable with what he was saying," Worthington said. "He was very realistic about where the club's at and trying to take it forward steadily and carefully.
"For me there's something at the club to build on. Obviously the immediate target is to try and maintain League Two status, that's the first hurdle over the next 10 games. And if we can do that then we can look forward."