TONY STEWART has revealed Neil Warnock was on Rotherham United’s radar four months ago before Neil Redfearn was appointed.
The 67-year-old former Sheffield United manager has taken charge at the New York Stadium until the end of the season.
That arrangement may yet be extended, neither Warnock nor chairman Stewart ruled the possibility out at a press conference today.
For now, though, the priority is getting the club out of trouble near the foot of the Championship.
Stewart “We studied his record and his CV looks good. We think that he will make a difference.
“People might say, ‘If he is that good, why didn’t you get him four months ago’. He was on our radar. But Neil wasn’t available.”
Warnock’s wife Sharon has been ill, hence why he wasn’t available following Steve Evans’ departure in the autumn. Now, though, she has been feeling better - opening up a possible route back into the game for her husband.
The new United chief added: My wife has not been very well but I think I might have got on her nerves this week. I said jokingly, ‘I am favourite for Rotherham’. She replied, ‘Why don’t you go for it?’ So I did.”
Warnock met Stewart near the M5 for a meal on Thursday night, halfway between Rotherham and the new manager’s home in Cornwall.
This morning, he took charge of training and is looking forward to tomorrow’s home clash with Birmingham.
“I have never been a manager to pick a club for a certain reason,” added Warnock. “I do it on a feeling for the club.
“I came back a couple of weeks ago and was bowled over by the hospitality I received. I had two happy years here as a player.
“I love the Championship, it is the league for me. We are all in this together.
“The next seven games are against teams in the top eight. But I have always enjoyed a challenge like this. The squad is decent and I am happy to take it forward.”
As for what happens beyond this season, Warnock refused to rule anything out.
He said: “ I don’t see myself next week, let alone next season. You don’t know what is around the corner at my age. You never say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
“You just try to give value for money and give everything your best every single week.”