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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Williamson in for long haul
By Pete Oliver

Bobby Williamson
Williamson hopes to bring some stability to Chester City

New Chester City boss Bobby Williamson plans to re-write recent history at the Deva Stadium and stay around long enough to deliver some success.

Williamson's appointment in the summer made him Chester's fifth manager since the club clinched promotion back to the Football League in 2004.

Going back further than that, the Blues have appointed a total of ten managers since the ill-fated regime of American owner Terry Smith ended Kevin Ratcliffe's four-year reign in charge in 1999.

"It could do with a bit of stability and a manager in place for a period of time," Williamson told BBC Sport.

"There are circumstances out of everybody's control when it goes wrong.

The chairman has backed me fully. The players I have brought in have not come cheap. They are on decent money for this level

Bobby Williamson

"But hopefully if we have a sticky patch we will stay strong and get through it.

"The clubs that do stay strong and show belief in the person in charge are usually successful over the piece. It's when they chop and change that they struggle."

Williamson has not always benefited from such a long-sighted view after being given little over a year as manager of Plymouth Argyle.

The Scot took Plymouth over the finishing line and into the Championship in 2004 after Paul Sturrock had left the Pilgrims to join Sheffield Wednesday.

But by September, 2005, Williamson had been shown the Home Park door.

"That was disappointing," he said. "I kept them in the division, which was the aim, and then the next season had just started and I found myself out of a job.

"I had a lot of affection for down there and it's a club that could move in the right direction, and still can.

"But I'm no longer part of that."

Williamson's future is now with Chester after he returned to club management on a two-year contract with the League Two side in May.

After previous success in Scotland with Kilmarnock and Hibernian, the 46-year-old would surely have been given further chances north of the border.


But Williamson was keen to work back in England, where he also spent time during his playing career as a striker with West Bromwich Albion and Rotherham.

He added: "I have always enjoyed it down here. It's not as parochial as Scotland. Scotland is a small place.

"In England it's fresher. You are playing each team just twice a season."

Despite their recent chequered history, which has seen former internationals Mark Wright, Ian Rush and Keith Curle all fall by the wayside, Chester was an attractive proposition for Williamson.

"I came down and spoke to the board and felt they were very ambitious and wanted to move the club in the right direction," he said.

"I liked everything I heard about the place so I had no hesitation about taking the post.

"I have been very impressed with the chairman and the board of directors and the ideas they have about the place.

"And the chairman has backed me fully. The players I have brought in have not come cheap. They are on decent money for this level."

It's better to be working with players you know about than those you're not sure of

Bobby Williamson

Williamson brought in half-a-dozen senior players over the summer, including former Sunderland, Wolves and Leeds defender Paul Butler, ex-Everton and Manchester City midfielder Tony Grant, former Plymouth striker Nathan Lowndes and returning front man John Murphy.

"They have got a good pedigree," he said.

"I know these guys and it's better to be working with players you know about than those you're not sure of."

Williamson's changes produced a solid start to the season in which Chester went unbeaten in their first six games.

He believes there will be little to choose between many sides in the division and so is striving for consistency and the ability to make a difference in both penalty areas.

"We have players capable of doing that," he said.

The early signs are therefore encouraging as Williamson bids to reverse City's recent fortunes and turn a struggle to survive into a challenge at the other end of the table.

"It won't happen overnight, but we will try our best to make it as quick as possible," he said.

Chester recruit defender Butler
25 Jul 07 |  Chester
Plymouth sack manager Williamson
06 Sep 05 |  Plymouth Argyle
Williamson asks boo-boys to stop
24 Jan 05 |  Plymouth Argyle
Williamson takes Argyle job
20 Apr 04 |  Plymouth Argyle
Hibs chief appeals for calm
21 Apr 04 |  Hibernian


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