Morecambe v York City: Wilcox set to try and realise York’s full potential

York City Manager Russ Wilcox.  Picture: Mark Comer.
York City Manager Russ Wilcox. Picture: Mark Comer.
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YORK CITY’S board expect to sit down with new manager Russ Wilcox after tonight’s trip to the seaside to thrash out a master plan designed to drag the club out of trouble.

The Minstermen slipped into the relegation zone for the first time this season courtesy of the weekend defeat at home to Shrewsbury Town.

It was Wilcox’s first game at the helm since succeeding Nigel Worthington and the new York chief has promised to give the group of players he inherited from the Irishman another chance at Morecambe.

After that, however, the 50-year-old will go to the board to outline his thinking for the future and director Sophie Hicks has promised the club will do all it can to support the new manager in whatever changes he believe need making.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post ahead of the trip to the west coast, Hicks said: “It is a time to re-group as a club and assess. We have another game (tonight) at Morecambe, which will give Russ a chance to once again review the team and have a better idea of the group he has inherited.

“In one sense, it is quite a challenge that we have two games so close together because he has not had a great deal of work with the players on the training ground.

“But the positive is Russ can assess everything and decide how we can improve things. From the board’s point of view, we will be looking for Russ to analyse and review things after the Morecambe game and then we can sit down together to decide the way forward.

“Whether that will involve Russ wanting to change tactics, the way we play or personnel, we will do everything we can to support him. We have always done that with all our managers.

“What that means is the players have another opportunity to, hopefully, show the new manager that they have the quality and attributes he is looking for.”

York, fresh from reaching the League Two play-offs last season, began the season in optimistic mood.

A little over 10 weeks on, however, the picture has changed dramatically with York having won just once in 13 games and only being kept off the bottom of the Football League by Tranmere Rovers.

Hicks added: “There is a lot of football to play. That is the one big positive to take out of all this upheaval – that there are plenty of games still to play.

“It is not as if all this happened in March or April with just a few games left. When Nigel came in, for instance, there were just 10 games left to retain our League status and that was a big ask.

“Thankfully, Nigel managed it. This time, we have been fortunate enough to secure the services of a very good manager who has arrived here with a proven track record of success at this level. That is very important.”

York fans know better than most how quickly things can change in the basement division. On New Year’s Day last season, for instance, the Minstermen were only sitting outside the drop zone on goal difference, but by May they had soared into the play-offs.

Wilcox, too, has recent experience of fortunes altering dramatically with his Scunthorpe side winning automatic promotion last term despite being 12th at this stage of the season.

That said, an upturn in results has to start sooner rather than later if York are to build on the welcome boost of earlier this month when any doubts about the planned new stadium at Monks Cross were blown away by the local Council committing an extra £4m in funding to the project.

Hicks said: “We started the season very optimistic that we would have a good year and perform well. We felt we had strengthened the team from last season, despite losing some key players over the summer.

“It hasn’t worked out like that, unfortunately, but now is a time for looking forward as a club.

“Russ knows what is required to be a success and I also think the lure of the new stadium was something that helped us get him.

“The decision of the Council to push on with the project was wonderful news and absolutely vital for the club. Russ knew about that when we approached him and he sees this football club as very much one with potential.”

One familiar face back in the York squad for tonight’s trip to the seaside is Daniel Parslow, who has spent the past month on loan at Grimsby Town building up his fitness after a nine-month lay-off with cruciate ligament damage.

The 29-year-old, in his ninth season at Bootham Crescent, made three appearances for the Mariners.

Manager Wilcox said: “We have brought Dan Parslow back and I am pleased about that because he is a bright and positive person to have around the group.”

Last six games: Morecambe LLWLLW, York City DLLDLL.

Referee: A Haines (Tyne & Wear).

Last time: Morecambe 0 York City 0; November 26, 2013; League Two.