York City in no rush to replace axed Wilcox

YORK CITY director Sophie McGill admits the League Two club has no firm candidate in mind to replace Russ Wilcox.
Russ WilcoxRuss Wilcox
Russ Wilcox

The 51-year-old was dismissed over the weekend after a nine-game winless run saw the Minstermen slip into relegation trouble.

A host of names have already been linked with the post, including Greg Abbott, Danny Wilson, Lee Clark and Graham Alexander.

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Richard Cresswell has been placed in temporary charge and seems certain to be in the dugout at Crawley Town on Saturday due to the search for a new manager only having got under way on Monday.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, director McGill said: “This is the first time since we appointed Billy McEwan (in 2005) that we have not had a specific candidate in mind when beginning the search for a new manager.

“Russ has been under pressure and it has been a difficult period. Everyone has known that. We think very highly of Russ and we absolutely felt it would be, as a board, disrespectful to him to be looking for a potential new manager while he was still in the role.

“We desperately wanted him to succeed in the role but, unfortunately, things just haven’t worked out.

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“That is why we have invited applications via our club secretary. We will then review those and see who has put themselves forward before embarking on the interview process.

“There are lots of excellent candidates around but we will have to see who shows an interest. “

The York board visited the club’s training ground on Monday morning to explain the thought process behind both Wilcox’s dismissal and the search for a new manager.

Wilcox’s reign lasted a little over a year. He kept the Minstermen up comfortably last year having taken over from Nigel Worthington following a sequence of just one win in 17 games.

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However, in recent weeks, a growing section of supporters had been voicing their desire for him to go and taking one point from back-to-back home games against Dagenham & Redbridge and AFC Wimbledon signalled the end.

On the search for a new manager, McGill added: We would like to move quickly but we can’t put a definite time-scale on this. With every appointment, what we want is longevity. It just doesn’t always work out that way.

“We are not a ruthless board, far from it. We think we set realistic targets for our managers. But if it is not working - and currently it has not been - we have to do something about it.

“Our track record of appointments is quite good, certainly in terms of achieving what we asked them to do initially. Russ was brought in to keep us up and he did that, we finished 11 points clear of relegation.

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“As for whoever becomes the new manager, it is vitally important that they put everything into it. They have to be as committed as we are to York City.

“As a club and a board, it has been a really tough period but this is an exciting challenge for us all.”

News of the change was released early Monday morning but it is understood Wilcox was informed of the board’s decision on Saturday evening. Out of respect to the former defender, an announcement was delayed until after his daughter’s birthday party on Sunday.

Cresswell, a former York striker and a coach under Wilcox, will be assisted by Jonathan Greening and goalkeeper coach Andy Leaning.

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McGill added: “We asked Richard on Sunday if he would take on the position as caretaker manager.

“The board went down to the training ground (on Monday) and met the players along with the caretaker team. We are trying to be transparent with everyone, to keep them informed as to what is happening.”