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Watson sets the immediate goals

10th January 2019

Steve Watson has been outlining his immediate goals after taking over as City manager.

The former Newcastle United and Everton defender will start work on Monday morning after resigning today from his post as manager of Vanarama National League promotion-chasers Gateshead.

City, whose next league game is at third-placed Stockport County on January 19, are currently nine points off the play-off places in Vanarama National League North with 17 games remaining.

However, speaking to the official website, Watson, 44, said: "The challenge of taking this club back through the leagues is an exciting one for any young manager.

"It will take a lot of hard work but I am more than willing to roll my sleeves up and I can't wait to get started.

"There are probably only two clubs in National League North that are 'League clubs' waiting to happen again and York is one of them. There is huge potential here and my job is to realise that potential."

Watson, who made over 500 appearances during a playing career that spanned two decades, moved into coaching when injury curtailed his career nine years ago.

He briefly stood in as caretaker-manager of Sheffield Wednesday but moved into coaching at Huddersfield Town and Birmingham City and was assistant-manager at Macclesfield Town.

He has spent the last 15 months in charge of Gateshead - and has led the club to the brink of the play-off zone on a limited budget.

"My immediate job is to get every ounce of effort and energy out of the current squad for the remainder of the season and then look at where we are in the summer when I can put my own stamp on it," he said.

"Every player at this club now has a fresh start and the chance to get us out of the position we are in and higher up the league.

"I want to create a really positive environment around the whole club. Not just at the training ground but among the fans, the media, and around the city. My job is to lift the whole place, create a positive environment, and the results will follow.

"Coming to any big club, you accept pressure," he added. "If you don't, you are in the wrong job. I accept the pressure that this season's target is still the play-offs. It is achievable, it is going to be tough, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

"The immediate aim is to get back on a winning streak and bring back the feelgood factor and get some momentum going again and see what we can do.

"There is always one team that comes from nowhere and makes a late push for the play-offs and I hope that will be us. I understand how tough a task it will be - but it is mathematically possible so that has to be the aim.

"The club's league status was immaterial in my thought process," he added. "It was all about the potential - with the new stadium and the training facilities - and what we can achieve here," he added. "You don't take a job unless you believe you can be successful."

Describing his style of management, Watson said: "I am an open book and I am very honest. At Gateshead, we have been playing as good a football as any team in that league. I like fast attacking football with a really solid base and that's how I like to set my teams up."

Watson will be officially unveiled as manager at a Bootham Crescent press conference on Monday afternoon.

(Photo courtesy of JPIMedia)

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