Neil Warnock is backing Sheffield United to cause some major upsets in the Championship this season after revealing his respect for Chris Wilder’s achievements since taking charge at Bramall Lane.
Warnock, regarded by many as the club’s greatest ever manager, issued the prediction ahead of tonight’s meeting with his Cardiff City side.
Labelling Wilder, who led United to the League One title last term as “absolutely the right person for the job,” Warnock told The Star: “Chris is exactly the type of guy they needed and I’m chuffed to bits to see what he’s done. He’s brought a real buzz back to the place, the fans there identify with him because he’s one himself and he knows exactly what they want.
“Listen, there’s no secret to doing well in this division. It’s not rocket science or anything like that. Chris has clearly got something going and he’s obviously built an amazing team spirit because, otherwise, you don’t go on runs like he has. With him being there and Billy (Sharp) scoring the goals, there’s a real buzz about the place.”
United, whose centre-forward James Hanson reportedly rejected a move to Mansfield Town last night, suffered their first defeat since January when they were beaten, in controversial circumstances, by Middlesbrough three days ago.
Warnock, who won promotion to the top-flight with United in 2006, has spent the past 10 months at City and masterminded last weekend’s 3-0 victory over Aston Villa.
“United, I’m absolutely sure of this, will be able to cause anyone a headache at this level,” he said. “I wouldn’t be at all surprised, with Chris in charge there and with what he’s doing, to see United finish comfortably in the top-half. And, on top of that, get some major scalps along the way. They fight for each other and they’re tight, like the lads we’ve got here. That’s why I think this is going to be a cracking game.”
Warnock, whose squad enters this evening’s game in Wales on top of the table, added: “Listen, we’ll both want to win desperately because that’s what football is about. There’s lot of similarities between the two clubs, Cardiff and United, because they’re both followed by proper people who talk straight and know what it’s all about. I’m not going to deny it will feel a little bit strange even though, like I say, we’re determined to try and get the points.
“But I’m delighted to see what’s happening at United, Chris is putting the right blocks in place again, and I’m hoping, knowing to be honest, that he’s the right manager for the job.”