Neil Warnock: Keeping Huddersfield Town Up Would Be My Greatest Achievement

The veteran manager was at the Crucible this week ahead of his side's crucial trip to Cardiff on Sunday
22:00, 28 Apr 2023

Neil Warnock enjoyed some downtime at the Crucible this week ahead of Huddersfield’s crucial trip to former club Cardiff on Sunday.

The Terriers do not yet require snookers to dodge the drop to League One, but the 74-year-old from Sheffield does need a pressure clearance or two from his team in the final three games.

Warnock, at his 16th club and second stint at the John Smith’s Stadium, insists that from where he started keeping Huddersfield up this term would be his greatest achievement.


Some claim, from the man with a record number of promotions in English football – eight – and who engineered the Rotherham Championship survival miracle of 2016.

But managerial colossus Warnock, with a record 1,615 games in English football to his name, is as addicted to the snooker drug as ever.

And if he does part company with the Yorkshire club on either a high or a low this summer, there is no guarantee he won’t be talked into firefighting elsewhere come next February.

Warnock admitted: “There isn’t much point in asking me if this is my last job! If I can keep us up this year it would be my greatest achievement.

“Bigger than the promotions and Rotherham, because we have played all the top teams and had horrendous fixtures ahead when standing six points adrift.

“But then next February…you never know. I only work February, March and April these days.

“My wife Sharon and I love Italy and would like to go out there for a few weeks. And if an Italian team came in next February and asked me to save them…now you’re talking.

“That Como club by the lake – that would do for me. Lovely spot. I think Dennis Wise is involved there.”


The scrap to avoid relegation from the Championship is always a chaotic mess, but the transfer embargos and points deductions tossed into the mix this year have made it especially frantic.

Warnock said: “It is very exciting this year and a real battle that you can’t help but be up for. It would be nice if we were safe, with a cigar on.

“It never works like that, the Championship. But if I’m honest if you’d said to me with three games to go we’d be where we are, I’d have snapped your hand off.

“The fixtures were horrific but the lads have done ever so well. It has been chaos down there this season.

“Cardiff, Rotherham, QPR…they are all teams I have managed in the past and have a lot of time for. They are not daft, though. They know I am a professional. And I’d have helped them too.

“People talk about pressure in football…there is more pressure in the situation we are in than there is going for promotion.

“But it will be emotional going to Cardiff, with them nearly safe. I was there two and half years and it was fabulous. I loved the fans.

“Reading on the last day could be huge, a proper six-pointer for us, and I think there is a good chance it will be. Right down to the wire.”

Back at the Crucible and Warnock glances up at a picture of the two-time champion Cliff Thorburn, known to all as ‘The Grinder’. Warnock said: “I came to see Cliff play in the 70s and 80s.

“I always thought my football teams were a bit like him. He was just a ground away, you could never play against him, he would never give you anything. Not a thing.”

The Huddersfield players should take note ahead of three huge games that will decide their Championship fate.

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