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‘He’s the one’ says York City chairman of his Worthington best
YORK City chairman Jason McGill believes new manager Nigel Worthington’s CV suggests he is the right man to help the club achieve its short and long-term goals.
Worthington has taken over from Gary Mills at Bootham Crescent with the immediate task of preserving the club’s Football League status.
But City’s board also hope the former Northern Ireland boss can eventually mastermind a climb through English football’s lower divisions.
In the past, Worthington helped Leicester stave off the threat of relegation from the Championship when the Foxes were in an even more perilous position than the Minstermen, who are four points above the League Two drop zone with ten games to play.
Equally significant for McGill, however, was the manner in which the former Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds left-back helped to steer Norwich into the Premier League in 2004 after three-and-a-half years of gradual improvement.
On Worthington’s suitability to the twin tasks, McGill said: “When I did my homework and looked at Nigel’s history, there were two parts of his CV I liked.
“The first was the job he did at Leicester when, with five games to go, he had a brief to keep them in the Championship, which he did.
“The second was the rise of Norwich City under him.
“There was no boom or bust about what he did there.
“It was done over a gradual period of time and that appealed to me.
“From a business perspective, I like things to move on a gradual upward curve. “Short-term, it’s all about getting 50 points, which we feel will be there or thereabouts in terms of maintaining our Football League status.
“That’s absolutely vital.
“But, long-term, I want Nigel to help us move up the divisions because we are ambitious.
“I am ambitious in my business life outside of football and we are an ambitious board. We want York City to thrive – that’s our aim.”
McGill also pointed out that highly-qualified Worthington, having played, coached and managed at football’s top table, should also bring a wealth of contacts to his new role.
“He knows people in the game and that will help in terms of player recruitment,” the City owner added. “We will be making sufficient funds available to assist him in that respect, as we have done with all our previous managers.
“His coaching ability cannot be questioned either. He has his UEFA Pro licence and has managed in the Premier League and at international level, so he comes with all that experience.”
While extolling Worthington’s qualities, McGill went on to express his gratitude to Mills for the historic Wembley double campaign of 2011/12.
The Malton-based owner of family firm JM Packaging said: “We must thank Gary Mills for what he did last season.
“People have asked me whether this managerial appointment is the biggest we have made at York City but that’s a difficult question to answer because the appointment of Gary Mills was a really important one.
“He brought us out of the Conference and back into the Football League after eight years so bringing him to the club was a very important decision that paid off. He made an unbelievable contribution because we did not have the biggest budget in the Conference.
“It wasn’t the lowest, but it certainly wasn’t the biggest. But everything conspired to go for us last season.
“We had a great team spirit and everything worked. Unfortunately, a record of six points from 33 in the Football League was difficult for us to accept as a board but it’s better to have fought and lost than not to have fought at all.”
An emotional McGill went on to shed light on how tough it had been to relieve Mills of his duties following Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to Bradford City – the club’s 11th game without a win.
He revealed: “Decisions are easy to make but delivering them is very, very hard.
“The relationship we had with Gary was a very good one and I don’t want anybody to be under the misconception that what we did after Saturday’s game was anything other than very difficult, after what we achieved last season.
“But we have to think about the greater good of the football club and that’s why the decision was made.”