An Evening with Neil Warnock

So, out of the blue, Cardiff City announced a Question & Answer session with fairly newly appointed Cardiff City Manager Neil Warnock on Thursday evening, tickets were free to Season Ticket holders, so naturally I jumped at the chance to be part of this, along with a strong 400 in the crowd.

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Unexpectedly, the first question posed to him was ‘Why Cardiff?’ Warnock talked humbly about his meeting with Chairman, Mehmet Dalman in London, “…he spoke to me really well, told me I was their number 1 choice, that means a lot to a Yorkshire man. I said to Mehmet, it was about time they got me really. It’s been close a few times before.”

“My wife likes Cardiff, my daughter has applied for University here. The other club I nearly went to had more opportunity for promotion, but there’s plenty of time for that. I’ll work my socks off and do the best I can. I do like building a club and this is one I’d like to do it for. I want people to like what I’m doing here.”

On the current Cardiff Squad, Warnock said, “…come January, I’m not averse to giving some of the younger lads a chance. We’ll need to help some on their way and trim the wage bill which will allow me to get the names I want.”
He went on to say, “…there are no natural goal scorers in my opinion and we’re light, I’ve got priority roles I want to fill.”

Warnock recalled fondly a time when someone said to him he was the only guy he knew who had made a success out of being a failure as a player. He spoke about his expectations from players openly, “I demand that every player gives me everything. I will always support them if they try their hardest with me. Being able to motivate someone to get the best out of them is the key.” When asked if he still occasionally loses it, similar to the famous YouTube videos we’ve all seen, he says “Of course, but only when they’re not giving me everything.”

“We’ve got players here that if they could score 1, they’d score more. Pilkington is one, it’s uncharacteristic for Lambert to miss and in training, Fred, I can’t even tell you his last name (Gounongbe…) is our best finisher in training. I think Sol is doing well on the pitch as a leader, he’s certainly brought the best out in Sean Morrison.”

In response to two losses on the bounce, at home to Wigan and away to Newcastle, “I was disappointed, we have to work harder, we have to get more second balls, our effort was misdirected. I feel like it should have been 6 clean sheets so far, that’s what I look for and I’m disappointed.” When asked about post-match critique he said, “I really don’t give a damn what anybody says. Yeah, I listen to everyone and now and again you think, yeah, fair shout. After games, you pick up the papers and read your criticism, the Chairman rings, there’s people justifying statistics, but statistics never win you football.”

In true Warnock fashion, “I think Cardiff is due now for a turn at success. We can steady this ship and move forward. My objective when I leave is to leave it in a better state, think of me as one of you.”

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Warnock, I loved you before, but after that, I love you even more. What a top guy, heartwarming for the fans to be valued that much to be able to talk so frankly with him. A true legend oozing confidence and experience. Neil Warnock’s Barmy Army…

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