FORMER York City midfielder Jonathan Greening is hoping his ex-West Brom team-mate Steve Watson is given time to prove his credentials after being appointed the club’s new manager.

None of the Minstermen’s last four appointments - Sam Collins, Martin Gray, Gary Mills and Jackie McNamara – have lasted 12 months in the job, while Russ Wilcox, before them, only survived 11 more days after his one-year anniversary at the helm.

Watson and Greening spent two seasons together at the Hawthorns, with the latter even teeing up City’s new chief for his only Baggies goal during a 2-1 derby defeat to Aston Villa.

Current i2i Football Academy head of player development Greening now feels the former Gateshead manager and Birmingham City, Huddersfield and Macclesfield coach might need to benefit from a degree of patience as he looks to reverse the fortunes of a club still reeling from back-to-back relegations and currently sat 16th in the National League North standings with an underperforming squad.

The ex-Manchester United and Middlesbrough midfielder said: “Watto’s a big name and I think he’s a good appointment. He’s been an assistant, coach and manager at all different levels now and commands respect because of his playing career and what he’s done at Gateshead.

“He’s taken a big drop from the top-eight in the National League to the bottom-eight in National League North – we all know that – and the players are not his own, but he’ll be looking to get the best out of them and I think he will. There might need to be some patience this season too, though, because he’ll have to look at the squad and decide which ones he wants to keep and which he might let go.

“Then, next season, when he starts bringing his own players in, we can judge him at the new stadium. He will want to do well and show everybody what he can do because, whilst I’m not saying he’s looking at York as a stepping stone, I’m sure he wants to coach and manage at as high a level as possible.”