MAC’S MIS­SION

New York City man­ager Jackie McNa­mara ready for English test

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Chris Dunlavy

WHY did Jackie McNa­mara turn his back on Scot­land to sad­dle him­self with an ail­ing club in League Two?

“I just wanted a bit of va­ri­ety,” smiles the new York City man­ager, who left SPL out­fit Dundee United in Septem­ber. “We played Celtic seven times last year. Aberdeen five times. Dundee five times. It was get­ting bor­ing!”

Not that there’s been much va­ri­ety at Bootham Cres­cent re­cently. Stodgy per­for­mances and grim de­feats have been churned out with de­press­ing reg­u­lar­ity; an­other year of fend­ing of the Con­fer­ence seems a cer­tainty.

Rein­vent

Yet McNa­mara, ap­pointed on Wed­nes­day fol­low­ing the sack­ing of Russ Wil­cox, has made a ca­reer of wring­ing blood from stones.

First in a decade at Celtic that yielded four league ti­tles, six do­mes­tic cups and a player of the year award.

“As a player, I was no su­per­star,” ad­mits the de­fender, who also won 33 caps and played in the 1998 World Cup for Scot­land.

“But I spent ten years with Celtic at a time when they were spend­ing mil­lions of pounds on some of the best play­ers in the world – Paul Lam­bert, Hen­rik Lars­son. I won over Martin O’Neill. It was a con­stant fight to rein­vent my­self, to prove that work could beat abil­ity.”

Then came a coach­ing ca­reer tak­ing in stops at Partick This­tle and Dundee United. “I had very lit­tle in the way of resources at Partick,” he ex­plains. “But we still got them to a cup fi­nal and sec­ond in the league. “At Dundee, the man­ager re­signed, say­ing he couldn’t take the club for­ward due to bud­get cuts and every­thing else. We signed hun­gry play­ers with a bit of fire, peo­ple like Nadir Ciftci who is now at Celtic. We got to the top six, the semi-fi­nal of the cup.” Hunger and fire are McNa­mara’s buzz­words, con­stantly re­peated as he ex­plains how York can over­come os­ten­si­bly su­pe­rior op­po­nents.

By way of illustration, he points to the rise of Andy Robert­son, the Hull

PICS: Ac­tion Images & @yorkc­i­tyfc

POINT­ING THE WAY: Jackie McNa­mara dur­ing his time at Dundee United and, in­set, at his York un­veil­ing with as­sis­tant Si­mon Don­nelly

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