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Steve and Micky meet the fans

By Ian Appleyard | 25th January 2019

Around 75 supporters attended a question and answer session with manager Steve Watson and assistant  Micky Cummins last night in The 1922 Bar at Bootham Crescent.

The event proved a big success with both men also taking time out to listen to the views and opinions of the audience.

Report continues.........

Spelling out his vision for the club, Watson said: "We are not writing this season off yet and I am not going to say my plan is to just stay in the league. I am a bit more ambitious than that and I know you are too!

"But I will be looking around to see which players can go on the journey with us and building around them.

"At Gateshead, once I knew the budget, I tried to fill the squad with hungry young lads who were willing to go through the leagues. I think we have a lot of experience in this squad but I would like to add a bit of youth and exhuberance.

"Nobody could knock on my door after last Saturday because of the result - but I don't think we were embarrased at Stockport and they were not a million miles better than us.

"What I think we need is a bit of energy and drive. My first signings are hopefully the first of four or five."

Watson revealed that he is currently looking at trialists and has arranged a behind-closed-doors friendly on Monday afternoon.

"I think two-thirds of the players are out of contract at the end of season. In all honesty, there is nobody yet that has made me think 'I dont' want them' or 'I do want them' for next season.

"I have probably had four proper training sessions and two games to look. It will take me at least another six weeks. I need reliability. Not someone who does well in one game and then goes missing for the next three. 

"It's every manager's dream to have a settled side but until you start winning games you are looking for the right answer. If we pick a team that beats the league leaders (Chorley) on Saturday - then, of course, they will have earned their shirts."

Watson, who confirmed that he is currently looking for a property in the York area, praised the City supporters, saying: "This is arguably the biggest club in the league with great fans and so much potential to go on a journey. It's the best day out for anybody in the league but we have got to stop that, we have got to make it a horrible place to play.

"I compare this club to the situation at Newcastle when Kevin Keegan came in (as manager). The whole club and the city just needed a massive batch of enthusiasm. That's all Keegan did. He wasn't a fantastic coach, in fact he rarely did anything technical, Derek Fazackerley did all of that, but he came in and lifted everybody and made players believe that they were the players they could be. He was a Newcastle legend and I don't have York legendary status but what is needed first is getting the players to give you everything."

Watson also drew on his experience playing under David Moyes at Everton, saying: "Moyes was unbelievable in his attention to detail defensively. I take as much out of Moyes as anybody. As a player, you would be bored stiff in training, but he drilled you that hard it became a habit and, all of a sudden, an average Everton side became really, really hard to beat and was resilient with a great ethic."

Stressing the importance of the club's youth set-up, Watson said: "There should be one or two players a season that break in. I watched the U19 game against Chester and we also have two or three different young players training with us every day.

"The young players have the potential to come through. I got my debut at 16 and that system is vital. It's going to be a big part of the plan but we have to prioritise getting the first team right first. Come the summer, there will be lots of talks about the best way forward for all aspects of the club."

Commenting on the budget at his disposal, Watson said: "I have never been a manager who thought money was the answer. We have got a very generous budget for this league and 100 per cent should be doing better. I won't be asking for any more money than is available. We can get good players in on the budget we are on."

Watson confirmed that the club does not have the option to recall defender Tom Allan from his loan spell at Alfreton Town.

Asked what would be a respectable finish this season, he said: "We need to get the first win and build from that. Then ask if we have got enough ability in the squad to go on a five, six, or seven game winning streak. I think we have.

"If we do that, we will give ourselves a chance of maybe surprising a few people. We need to win as many games as possible and try and build - so that next year is not a case of 'seeing how we do', next year is a case of 'we are going to win the league!'

Assistant-manager Cummins was equally open and honest with his answers and told supporters: "Our aim is to be as high as up the league as possible this season. It's not a salvage job.

"We need to get everybody on board, in the club and the city, to create a buzz. We can't comment on what's happened in the past. We have inherited this group and we are trying to work with this group to bring the best out of them.

"They have a clean slate and we also have our own ideas and philosophies about what we need," Cummins added. "As time goes by, you will see changes - but we wanted your feedback, your thoughts, and your support."

(Photos by Adam Davy)

 

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