Ken Bates on Leeds’ new boss: ‘Warnock’s no fanny merchant’

LEEDS United chairman Ken Bates has described new manager Neil Warnock as “no fanny merchant” and dismissed suggestions of a volatile relationship between the two.

Mr Bates said Warnock was an intelligent man “who gives it to you straight but is also prepared to listen”.

He added: “I have known Neil for a long time. Once again, people do not know Neil Warnock, they just read about him or see him on TV.

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“He is a down to earth guy and he is not a fanny merchant. He gives it to you straight and at the same time, he listens to you when you explain things and he understands what you are talking about.”

Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, the Leeds chairman added: “He is an intelligent man who has made a lot of money during his career and he has invested wisely, so he’s got a wider view than just eleven men on a football pitch.

“He can see the implications and planning that goes into running a football club and he is good at it.

“We made a good signing and he wanted the job and that is an important thing.”

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Warnock is taking charge of only his fifth game this weekend but an optimistic mood has gripped the club after their victory at The Riverside, and Bates urged Warnock’s players to make the most of a sudden opportunity to reach the Championship’s top six.

Mr Bates said: “All of a sudden things are looking good.

“The general feeling is that if you get 75 points then you’re in the play-offs. We’ve got 53 so we want 22 out of 30. That’s a high standard but on the other hand why not set it for ourselves?

“I think Neil’s target of 74, 75 points is feasible and we probably need 22 points out of the last 30 but we’re Leeds United so why shouldn’t we have them?

“We’ve got the players, we’ve now got the inspiration driving the players and we’ve got the fans behind the team. It could be an exciting time.”