QPR v Leeds United: ‘Evans makes me look like an angel,’ asserts Warnock

Chris WoodChris Wood
Chris Wood
WHEN it comes to their respective managerial styles, many would say that Steve Evans and Neil Warnock are like birds of a feather.

Both also share something else in common, namely experience in the Leeds United dug-out, with Evans being the current incumbent in a job in which much-travelled Warnock was in the chair from between February, 2012 to April, 2013.

Warnock, who turns 67 on Tuesday, is currently in caretaker charge of Rangers – assisted by another familiar face to Whites fans in another former manager in Kevin Blackwell – with some reports suggesting the Yorkshireman will be handed the post until the summer.

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Leeds head coach Evans has professed to being good friends with Warnock, although that will be firmly put on hold for 90 minutes this afternoon, with the touchline histrionics from both heart-on-sleeve managers, who can best be described as passionate, probably worth today’s admission money alone at Loftus Road.

The Whites are one point and a place behind the R’s at the wrong end of the table, with both in urgent need of points, raising the stakes for both figures patrolling the technical area.

On locking horns with Warnock, Evans, who makes his second visit already this season to QPR, who beat Rotherham United 4-2 when he was still in charge in August, said: “I can’t really speak for Neil’s time here because I didn’t really pay much attention to it.

“But Neil’s a friend and he will be a friend for a long time. But I want to win on Saturday, we need to bounce (back) in the right way and our performance will dictate what happens in that game, but we have a lot of respect for the players that we face.

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“I have been there this season with my previous club and some of those lads were outstanding against us and we will have to go there and be on the front foot.

“Neil will have his troops fired up and wanting to win. Him and Kevin are a management team who strive for that in everything they do and we are known for it and we will shout and claim for everything we can.

“But it will come down to players on the pitch and our performance level needs to go up from last week and be back up like it was in spells against Cardiff and Huddersfield.

“From that point of view, we have to be focused.”

For his part, Warnock, who missed Rangers’ late televised loss at Middlesbrough due to personal reasons, admits that Evans is a bit of a kindred spirit in terms of his managerial persona – while quipping that the demonstrative heart-on-sleeve Scot makes his touchline protestations pale into insignificance.

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Warnock can certainly empathise with Evans in terms of what the task of leading Leeds entails and while he has readily admited that managing at Elland Road was his hardest task in a long career in management, he equally acknowledges the kudos of taking charge of one of football’s big institutions.

On Evans, Warnock said: “He makes me look like an angel!

“But he cares and he’s passionate – he’s always been like that. You can’t take that out of certain people.

“He knows what a great club he’s at now, because until you take over (at Leeds) you don’t realise that it’s such a great club.”

Sunderland defensive midfielder Liam Bridcutt is in line for a debut after his protracted loan move was finally completed on Thursday afternoon.

Leeds also made a pre-deadline enquiry regarding Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish, who has fallen out of favour with new Villa chief Remi Garde.