Challenge of reviving York City is welcomed by Gray

York Citys new manager Martin Gray, left, and the clubs sporting director Dave Penney (Picture: James Hardisty).

YORK CITY’S new management team is targeting promotion and an end to the damaging cycle that has dragged the club down in recent years.

Martin Gray succeeded Gary Mills as manager over the weekend following the Minstermen’s FA Cup third round qualifying exit at South Shields.

Forty-six-year-old Gray, who led Darlington to three promotions before quitting over the weekend, is joined by sporting director Dave Penney, the former Doncaster Rovers chief, at Bootham Crescent.

“This is the right time in my career,” said Gray, a former Sunderland and Oxford United midfielder. “A club of this size and the fan base brings the challenge I exactly need at this time. York are a Football League club and our job is to take them back there.

“I didn’t take any convincing. This was the right thing to do. York have some good players, but we need to improve things. The club is in a healthy position, but there is room for improvement.”

York, who occupy the final play-off place in National League North, host Brackley this weekend and Gray, recommended for the post by former England chief Steve McClaren, hopes to bring in up to three new signings ahead of his bow as manager.

Penney, assistant manager at Guiseley on the final day of last season when the Leeds club pipped York to safety in the fifth tier, added: “We have to go for promotion. York City should not be at this level. The cycle has been going down for too long and we have to get that going the other way.”

The former Doncaster chief left Nethermoor in the wake of manager Adam Lockwood’s dismissal in late August by the National League club.

On his job description after being reunited with Gray, Penney added: “It is a different role to what I am used to. I come in and have an overview of the club, see where we can improve it. I will use my experience to help Martin and, hopefully, get the club going forward again.”

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