Middlesbrough v Cardiff City: Boro wary as arch-enemy Neil Warnock pays visit

Neil Warnock: Enjoys a proud record against Boro.
Neil Warnock: Enjoys a proud record against Boro.
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NEIL WARNOCK’S managerial record against Middlesbrough precedes him somewhat.

Mention Boro and the veteran Yorkshire manager is likely to recount far more positive memories than bad ones, with the Cardiff City chief eager to sample another victory at the Riverside on Saturday.

It is a venue where Warnock orchestrated his first victory of his time in charge of Leeds United in March, 2012 – with probably the most accomplished away display of his stint at Elland Road.

Memories of the last time that Warnock crossed swords with the Teessiders are also likely to quickly draw a smile to his face, with his Rotherham United side securing a famous last-gasp home win during that captivating ‘Great Escape’ of the Spring of 2016.

Pleasant episodes against Boro also arrived much earlier in his career, most principally in the Second Division play-off semi-finals of 1990-91, when Warnock’s Notts County saw off Colin Todd’s Boro over two legs to book a Wembley date.

Then, as now, Warnock’s current side and big-spending Boro have designs upon promotion, with Cardiff having certainly made the more accomplished start to the 2017-18 season.

On his record against Boro, Warnock, who has been defeated in just four matches against them in his 37 years of management, said: “I did smile. I know the chairman quite well up there.

“Last year at Rotherham, we played them on our good run. They should have been six-up at half-time with the chances they missed, they were so superior. But we got in at 0-0 and changed things around and won 1-0.

“On the way home, I did get a text from the chairman (Steve Gibson) saying: ‘I just knew you would sort it out at half-time!’ It is mutual respect.

“He has been fantastic for the managers up there, (it is) a lovely club, really well run.

I think the chairman said they (wanted to) smash this league. Steve Gibson’s a super guy, a fabulous chairman, the way he has supported it, but it is a difficult league to smash no matter how much you spend.

“I think the chairman said they (wanted to) smash this league. Steve Gibson’s a super guy, a fabulous chairman, the way he has supported it, but it is a difficult league to smash no matter how much you spend.

“The Championship is not like any other. Money helps, but it is still difficult to get it right.”