MATT UGGLA explained how he identified manager Adam Hinshelwood as the right person to take York City forward.

Hinshelwood took charge of York in late February, and despite a bumpy start to life in North Yorkshire, the City boss helped guide the Minstermen to safety on the final day of the Vanarama National League season.

Uggla spoke on the decision-making process which took place when appointing both Neal Ardley and Hinshelwood, as well as the decision to keep Mikey Morton at the helm at the beginning of the 2023/24 season, also confirming that plans were in place to part ways with Ardley at the end-of-the-season, even if City had stayed up.

“I looked around with people who run data teams at people who were really overachieving, compared to their budgets who played an attacking-brand of football, and exciting type of football,” Uggla told York Hospital Ball podcast.

“Worthing came up and we watched a few of their games and it was top, it was the level below but the way they played football was so exciting and what I envisaged for what I wanted York to look like, to give us that identity.

“We wanted it at the end of the season but after Barnet, I had to make a decision on my gut, and I didn’t think that we were going to stay in the league with the way things were going and the way that the teams around us were picking up points left, right and centre.

“I made the decision, contacted Worthing and spoke with Adam for a long time and we hit it off.

“I think that was key, you have to have a really good relationship with the manager and then it kind of just went from there, we paid Worthing compensation and Adam came in.

“There’s a risk to everything you do, you could bring in a superstar and it just doesn’t work out for whatever reason.

“My view on it was that I wasn’t here for one or two years, so although there is all of this outside noise, maybe it’s good for me to block it out and work out the pro’s of bringing Adam in and what were the cons.

“Let’s bring him in now, hopefully we can get a bounce and stay up, but if god forbid worse comes to worse and we don’t, then hopefully it gives the man that I am trusting with this project ten games to work out who’s who in the squad, where the problems lie and get a real look underneath the hood.

“If it did happen, a rebuild in the league below, that was my view on it and it worked out pretty well.”

Uggla had previously kept Morton on for the beginning of the season after impressing in the 2022/23 campaign, taking over the club in precarious times after David Webb was sacked, and helping to keep City in the National League in their debut season back in the fifth tier.

Morton left the club after a winless run of seven matches, with Ardley his replacement.

However, Uggla admitted that he felt as if the club lost its identity and playing style under Ardley’s stewardship, confirming that plans were in place to part ways with the former York manager at the end-of-the-season, before he would be sacked after a 2-0 defeat to Barnet.

Uggla continued on the podcast: “We came into the club and Mikey was still here, he was a top guy and deserved his chance.

“It didn’t work out for whatever reason, the results weren’t going our way and again I think we went on the basis of not doing our homework, before we went and got Neal in.

“I like Neal and he’s a very good man with a good career behind him, both playing and as a manager, but I think that it became quite obvious that it didn’t fit what we wanted the club to be.

York Press: Matt Uggla felt that York City lost their identity under Neal Ardley.Matt Uggla felt that York City lost their identity under Neal Ardley. (Image: Tom Poole)

“In my head I had made the decision that come the end of the season, we would go our separate ways, that started the process of I didn’t want to make decisions that would be costly, I knew that getting the next one in had to be really thoroughly looked at.”

Some decisions sparked controversy around Uggla, in particular the decision to part ways with Ardley and appoint Hinshelwood, which split supporters with relegation a real possibility.

Uggla detailed how he felt during that sticky period, especially after the dismal 6-1 defeat to Altrincham, confessing that he felt in a rather lonely place.

“I didn’t [ever] think what the hell am I doing, but it was a lonely one for sure.

“It was a weird one, I love the club so much and when I first came in it was so nice, I felt like I got a bit of a heroes reception.

“Throughout the year the fans had been nothing but nice to me and positive, but at that point it turned quite negative and toxic.

“I was wondering what was going on here, I get it but I’m not the one picking the team, picking the tactics and I think it was quite lonely to go from being quite liked to feeling like these people don’t even want you at their club anymore, they want you gone.

“That was lonely for sure, but it made me more determined, at no point did I switch off and think that I need to focus on myself and take a little break.

“It was about how we fix this, it would’ve been easy to pull back and let the season play out, but I was always tinkering and thinking about how we can change the situation, because it’s not over until it’s over.

“We went and got a new manager in and Marvin [Armstrong, midfielder] in, and then that feeling with all of that love comes back, it’s been an interesting year for sure.”