Neil Warnock on his new contract and more

By Michael Morris
Last updated : 27 February 2018

Great interview from WalesOnline


Warnock: "Although I actually signed the document this week, the detail of what it entails was agreed back in December. 

"Vincent Tan, Mehmet Dalman and Ken Choo wanted a little bit of stability. They trusted me because I said I was staying, but I guess they wanted it down in black and white, too.

"I get terrific support, Mehmet is as good a chairman as I've worked with, and that backing, and what we can achieve together, is the key.

"It's not about money for me at my age, it's about the opportunity for that eighth promotion in my career. We'll have a good crack over the next couple of months, but even if we don't go up this season we've got a super squad in place to have another go next time around.

"In football you never know what's around the corner, but by sticking together - directors, management, players and fans - we can look to do something.

"It's a challenge, but when you look at where we were 16 months ago when I first came in, to where we are today, the place is already unrecognisable.

"I told Vincent and Mehmet back then 'If I do my job correctly, we'll be pushing for the play-offs next season'. They thought that was a little bit over the top, but I know how to build up a squad.

"The players have not let me down, the fans have been brilliant and I have the support I need from the Board.

"You just can't replicate jumping up and down in the dugout and sharing the fans' joy after a goal. I can't get that from working in my garden, fishing or pottering around the house, can I?"


Warnock: "Look, every manager wants to be loved. Their support is a major part in my decision to sign a new deal. As soon as that changes I won't be here. If I don't think the fans are behind me at any club, then the writing is on the wall. 

"They have been brilliant to me from day one, but I think I've always understood the DNA of this club.

"When I used to pitch up at Ninian Park as an opposition manager, I had a feeling of 'This is my type of club, my type of people.' I'd stand there in the other dugout, listening to thousands of passionate Welsh folk in full flow, cheering on their team. I used to think it was incredible.

"One of the older stewards would say to me, 'Why have you never been our manager, then?' I'd reply 'Well it's down to you lot to ask me.'

"I love the way the Cardiff fans get behind their team, which is why I do that clenched fist action at the end of games. They get really up for the match, I can hear them and I just help offer my own support in return.

"Many years ago, when I was at Sheffield United, I remember sitting in the bath with a cup of tea, reflecting on a win. These days it'd probably be whisky and a cigar!

"I recall thinking I just wanted youngsters to walk out of the ground and say 'Wow, what a game that was'. That hasn't changed. I'm in this to make Cardiff fans enjoy themselves, put a smile on their faces.

"I look at websites and do see criticism at times. That goes with the territory, I guess. It happened before our win over Bristol City on Sunday. 'He's picked Halford, Feeney and Connolly? What the heck is he up to?' That kind of thing.

"I will make what appear to be strange decisions at time - sometimes I won't know I'm making them myself until the last minute - but most of the supporters trust me to get the job done.

"People talk about flip charts, tactic boards and other rubbish like that. But the truth is that as a manager you just need to get the best out of the players at your disposal.

"We will get criticism from outside at times, but that's because it's a Neil Warnock team. The people here can see what I'm trying to do."

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Warnock: "I don't have a desire to prove people wrong, as such, because if you take a look at my Premier League record it's not too bad. 

"With Sheffield United we actually had 38 points - and didn't do anything wrong like West Ham did with Carlos Tevez, which saw us being relegated.

"At Queens Park Rangers we were never in the bottom three. I got the sack because a certain person was touting Mark Hughes for the job. The club ended up losing £200m after I left.

"I only joined Crystal Palace in July and was given just a few months. Even with them I didn't do too badly.

"I feel with Cardiff there would be greater support, were we to go up, and that is part of my thinking over the new deal.

"You can succeed in the Premier League. Just look at what Sean Dyche has done with Burnley. He's kept things simple and got the very best out of the players available to him. That approach can work, you know.

"There are not many clubs I haven't left in a better position than they were in when I joined. We were getting 8,000 at Sheffield United, no Academy. We were averaging 25,000 gates by the time I left, had a thriving Academy. That was a great seven years.

"Seven years? Most managers are lucky to get seven months these days!"



Warnock: "People still aren't talking about Cardiff. Mind, when you look at the money spent and size of squad at Aston Villa, Wolves, Derby, Fulham, you might wonder what on earth we're doing right up there? 

"We've done incredibly well to be where we are and I tell the players, 'Just enjoy it. we've done brilliantly so far'. If we get beaten, we just move to the next game, we don't fret about it.

"If somebody gets injured — and we've had a fair few of those — then someone else comes in to perform a decent job. The players mustn't lose sleep if we lose a top player like Sean Morrison, for example. The whole squad is extremely capable, we're proving that.

"There are 12 matches left and we're going to enjoy the lot of them. People might say the pressure is on us because we're second, but any pressure comes from within. We want to win every game. If we don't, we dust ourselves down and focus on the next one.

"People will look at the remaining fixtures and say, 'That's an easy game, this is a difficult one'. I don't see it like that, not in the Championship.

"Every single one of the 12 teams we have to play will be fighting for something, whether it's to avoid the drop, going for the play-offs, or promotion.

"I know it's an old cliche, but we really will be taking every game as it comes. And I will be encouraging the players to embrace it and smile.

"We will enjoy this run-in, we really will. And whatever happens to us match by match, Wolves, Aston Villa, Derby and Fulham will have their own pressures and their problems."

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