Riverside moment not lost on Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock

FOR Neil Warnock, it would have been a sweet moment.

Just after his Middlesbrough side’s decisive late second goal against Barnsley – on a night when their margin of victory should have been much more comfortable – home fans sang his name in appreciation.

Cajoled to give them a wave, Warnock quickly responded and why wouldn’t he?

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Moments like that explain why the 72-year-old is still at the sharp end of management on Teesside and not in retirement many miles away in Cornwall.

Middlesbrough's manager Neil Warnock and Barnsley's head coach Markus Schopp. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

The warmth was in marked contrast to some of the noise emanating from a section of supporters, mostly online, not so long back after disappointing defeats at Coventry and Hull.

Thankfully at his time of life, Warnock is able to put some grumblings into perspective. But that midweek acclamation will have felt nice all the same.

Warnock said: “That is what I am in it for to see things like that. I don’t want it to just fade away like it looked like it was going to do as we are better than that.

“But we are short of players, crikey. But all credit to the lads, they really knuckled down and training is a joy to be involved in.”

Warnock renews acquaintances with fellow Yorkshireman and good friend Mick McCarthy tomorrow – with his ex-Barnsley team-mate copping a barrage of stick from Cardiff fans at present.

As for his own cyber critics, Warnock is philosophical.

He added: “Listen, it is always like that. I have been in the game long enough to know that it’s a few. The fans have been brilliant with me when I go around town. When I went to James Cook Hospital the other day, everyone I see is fantastic.

“You get the minority everywhere. It is usually about 40 or 50 who go online; sad people who have got nothing else to say. They will go back in their holes for a few weeks, won’t they and squirm out in a few weeks’ time. That is football management.”

Wednesday’s win saw several players contribute to a sound team display, with Warnock full of praise for veteran former Leeds duo Lee Peltier and Sol Bamba.

Warnock added: “The two lads who I never expected to be in the team (this season) in Peltier and Bamba were outstanding. I don’t think I have seen Peltier play a better game for years than he did. He’s an unsung hero really.

“With both of them in the dressing room at half-time, they did my job for me, really. That is what you need, characters like that and I was delighted for them both.”