Neil Warnock - Rotherham United should stick with Paul Warne if club go down

MIDDLESBROUGH manager Neil Warnock has offered a message of support to Rotherham United counterpart Paul Warne - and says that his former club should stick with him even if they are relegated at the end of the season.

Neil Warnock.
Neil Warnock.

Back-to-back home defeats to Coventry City and Birmingham City have put the Championship status of the third-from-bottom Millers in some jeopardy ahead of their game with Warnock’s Boro on Wednesday evening.

But given the natural disadvantages that Rotherham face at this level against a host of former Premier League sides who possess far greater budgets, Warnock believes that the club are punching above their weight and have the perfect figure at the helm in Warne.

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Warnock, who presided over a ‘Great Escape’ during a memorable fight against the drop late on in 2015-16, commented: “I don’t think there is anybody better than him for Rotherham. Whatever happens this season.

“You need someone like that who is Rotherham through and through who knows what he is doing.

“Paul was my fitness lad and what an incredible, lovely young man. I hope they stay up.

“Their wage bill does not need telling. The only thing is they have got a good group, manager and backroom staff and the players give everything. They have had a right job with the Covid (virus).

“I left before Birmingham scored (on Sunday) and they should have been two or three up. I don’t know how they lost that game and I saw another couple of games where I could not believe they lost.

“They have had opportunities, but have ended up playing a lot of games, haven’t they..”

Should fans have been present at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, Warnock would have been afforded a warm reception from home followers following his sterling efforts in steering the club away from relegation five years ago.

It is a spell in time which will always be locked in the memory of the 72-year-old, who says that his time with the Millers rekindled his passion to carry on in management.

He added: “I would not be sat here now if it was not for Rotherham. It just gave me an enjoyment I thought I’d finished with. When I went to Rotherham, I’d actually accepted I’d retired.

“I went for 16 games and we were six points adrift and it was just an amazing time.

“Woody (Richard Wood) is still there and has just signed a new contract. He must be 48!

“But he will give absolutely everything and you know what you are going to get from him. There will be blood and bandages here and he just carries on. He is a fabulous professional.

“I thought he’d finished when I was there and how many years ago was that! He is brilliant and he gives everything in every game and puts his head in where it hurts. I think he will be playing when he is 40.”