CARDIFF City manager Neil Warnock last night insisted Huddersfield Town’s drubbing by the champions does not necessarily make tomorrow the ideal time to face his former club, quipping: “Manchester City will probably do that to all of us this season.”
The 68-year-old brings his Cardiff side to the John Smith’s Stadium hoping to pile on the misery for the Terriers, beaten 6-1 at the Etihad Stadium last weekend.
Following on from a 3-0 reverse at home to Chelsea on the opening day it means Town sit rock bottom of the fledgling table.
Warnock, however, is adamant that these two defeats will have little bearing on tomorrow’s Premier League clash.
“People might say this is a good time – or even the ideal time – to play Huddersfield, but I don’t go along with that,” he said to The Yorkshire Post.
“Not when you consider who they have just played. It was just bad luck to get those two first up this time around.
“Manchester City will probably do to all of us this season what they did to Huddersfield last Sunday.
“We have a similar run coming up next month. We have Arsenal, Chelsea and then Manchester City in consecutive fixtures. That is just how it is in the Premier League.
“And you can’t judge anything in this league on how you do against the big boys.
“I doubt (Huddersfield’s head coach) David Wagner will be too affected.
We have a similar run coming up next month. We have Arsenal, Chelsea and then Manchester City in consecutive fixtures. That is just how it is in the Premier League.Neil Warnock
“He will just tell his lads to forget it and that facing us is when their season starts.
“I will imagine they will just be relieved to have got those two out of the way.”
Warnock spent two years in charge of Huddersfield during the Nineties and led the club to promotion from the third tier.
Since then he has enjoyed a decent record against his former club with nine meetings yielding five wins for the Yorkshireman and two draws.
His two losses against the Terriers came with Sheffield United in 2001 and Leeds United five years ago.
“It is a long time ago since I was there as manager,” he added. “But I still have a lot of affection for Huddersfield.
“I remember coming in as the stadium was being built. We were still at the old ground (Leeds Road), but I went up to the top of the stand and it felt like being on top of the world.
“The pitch wasn’t laid as I looked down or anything like that. But you could see it was going to be a fantastic stadium.
“To be fair, we talk about those days all the time. Jeppo (Ronnie Jepson) is on the staff here and he was in that team. Kevin (Blackwell) was there, too.
“We had a great bunch of lads back then, lads like Boothy (Andy Booth).
“How time flies, but I still think a lot of Huddersfield.
“I watched them last season, that night when they stayed up against Chelsea. Me and my lad were cheering them on, it was a great achievement.
“During our own run-in (to last May’s promotion) we looked at what Huddersfield had done the year before and it gave us belief.
“Huddersfield were always written off, just like us. But they just kept going and got where they wanted to go. Just like we did.
“Even when they went up, everyone – and I mean everyone – said they would go back down, and look at what happened. It gives us the belief we can do the same.
“Mind, I am told our wage bill isn’t far off half that of what Huddersfield pay. That shows what we are up against. But we are not moaning about it, we just get on with it.”
Also among those returning to Huddersfield in Cardiff colours will be Sean Morrison, Alex Smithies, Danny Ward and Lee Peltier.
The main focus, however, will be on the manager who led Town to promotion and the final of the Football League Trophy at Wembley.
“It is great to be in the Premier League,” added Warnock, whose eight promotions are a record for English football, “especially when I look at the Championship and all the madness that goes on there. This feels like a holiday, I am glad to be out of it.
“I know we are tipped to finish rock bottom, but we have improved over the summer.
“Goals will be a problem, but that is the same for all the teams down near the bottom.
“We are doing things differently to Wolves and Fulham, who have come up and spent like a team in the top six. We look at the Burnley model, which is why the club has plans in for our training ground.
“Not that it will affect me, though, as it will be a couple of years down the line.
“No, seriously, this is why I came back into management. First I wanted to get that eighth promotion and break the record. But I was really excited by Cardiff.
“I am realistic and have been in football long enough to know it won’t last forever. But who knows what will happen in the future?
“Maybe some team from the Championship might want me. I could then try and get promotion nine.”