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Last Updated: Friday, 18 February, 2005, 11:26 GMT
York City undergoes big changes
By Pete Oliver

York boss Billy McEwan
For a city so closely associated with the railway industry, 'all change at York' should be a familiar cry.

Yet rather than the railway station, it is at York City where the instruction has been more apt in recent times.

Following on from two changes of ownership last season there has been little respite this time around.

During that period it was only the passion and pounds of the club's supporters stopped City from going to the wall.

The club has just regained ownership of the ground and thanks to some of the funding that allowed the deal to go ahead has also re-named it.

Bootham Crescent has become KitKat Crescent and on the field nothing has stood still either.

In their first season in the Conference, City are now onto their third manager following the appointment of Billy McEwan earlier this month.

Chris Brass and Viv Busby both lost their jobs as the fall-out from last season's relegation from the Football League continued.

But with McEwan at the helm, City hope to finally stop the rot and bring some stability to playing matters.

The former Rotherham, Darlington and Sheffield United manager has been charged with ensuring Conference safety as a platform for a brighter future.

If we all stick together and work as a team, on and off the pitch, it's amazing what can be achieved
Billy McEwan
York City boss

And if that's achieved when he sits down with the City board at the end of the season to assess the club's position, the manager's job is one more alteration that should not have to be made.

"The most important thing is for me to come in and use my experience and my knowledge to help the team and the players, and hopefully we should be okay," McEwan told BBC Sport.

"It's a massive job. A lot has happened to the club and it is just beginning to grow again. It's like a sick patient which is just beginning to get better, but it takes time.

"The club has had some big set-backs to get over and there is still a long way to go. It's all hands to the pump.

"But if we all stick together and work as a team, on and off the pitch, it's amazing what can be achieved.

"There was a lot of hard work put in by the fans to save the club, so it's up to us now to do our stuff on the pitch. The team will improve if everyone gives that little bit extra."

McEwan inherited a side short on confidence and unsure of its new surroundings in the Conference, with injuries to senior players and shortcomings in both penalty areas prompting a season of struggle.

There is no money left in the budget for major surgery on the side before March's transfer deadline.

But after a decade on the coaching staff at Derby County, McEwan knows what it's like to work hard on the training ground and was ready to answer City's call.

"I had been out of it for a little while after 11 years at a great club at Derby and I felt if I was out too long I might be a bit too old too buzz about," added the 53-year-old Scot.

The team has come down from the Football League and the club has got someone in with Football League experience to get them out of the Conference
Billy McEwan
York City boss

"I still have lots of energy and enthusiasm and I like to get out there and muck in. I was looking for a challenge and this is one.

"There is some decent talent here, but we have to get the best out of them and help them develop.

"These are the cards I've been dealt and I will get on with it. There's no point in moaning about it.

"The lads here will be given a chance to show me what they can do and then decisions will be made one way or another.

"If they are good enough they will stay here at a good little club, or they will move on to pastures new."

McEwan was buoyed by the travelling support for his first game in charge at Forest Green last Saturday and will be looking to build on a 1-1 draw when he makes his home debut' against Woking.

Discipline and organisation will be his watchwords between now and the end of the season, when staying clear off the bottom-three is the primary objective.

McEwan is too well versed in the game to look much further ahead than that, but having lived and worked in Yorkshire he also knows York are capable of much better.

"The team has come down from the Football League and the club has got someone in with Football League experience to get them out of the Conference," he said.

That's one change they wouldn't mind at KitKat Crescent.






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