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Neil Warnock working his Championship magic once again

Saturday 30th September 2017
Cardiff City put themselves clear at the top of the Championship table after their win against fellow promotion candidates Leeds United on Tuesday night. The man in charge of the Bluebirds, Neil Warnock, is once again showing his knack for putting together strong teams in English football's second tier.
Neil Warnock is known as a bit of a controversial character. Outspoken and never afraid to make his opinions heard, he has had a number of run-ins with both officials and managers alike during his 36 years in club management. While he has never managed a team that has pulled up trees in the Premier League for any lengthy period of time, Warnock remains a man with a solid reputation. He knows just what the Championship is all about and how to be one of the genuine contenders - something that is far from easy as a whole host of teams expect to be top dogs. Now with Cardiff City, Warnock is proving that he still has the managerial noose to guide a team through the Championship's rocky waters. It is, undoubtedly, credit to his longevity.

As well as having a notorious streak for confrontation, Warnock has also been known to retire on several different occasions. Now 68 years old, into the age range where a manager would usually call time on their career - Warnock seems to do just that only to make a comeback within the year. Whether it be there's too tempting an offer on the table or maybe the management bug has him hooked. Either way, just when you think you've seen the last of Warnock at the helm of a Championship club, he returns as enthusiastic as ever.

This season with Cardiff, Warnock is hoping to equal what he has previously achieved with Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers, by gaining promotion to the English top flight. Since taking over in the Welsh capital, almost exactly a year ago, he has changed the Bluebirds fortunes around in a very similar way to those of his former sides.
Sheffield United were a team that had fallen from the top tier and were stuck in the league below. A team that had once upon a time won the old first division, yet were now struggling to regain top-flight status after the best part of 12 years. Warnock came in and got the club back to where they felt they belonged, earning promotion through finishing Championship runners-up in 2006. The Blades stay would last a single season, however, as they immediately slipped back down to the second tier - Warnock then departed Bramall Lane. The Cardiff City manager's other Premier League promotion came with QPR, who at the time had heavy investment and were fully expected to go back up. They did so in style by winning the Championship title in 2011, but Warnock didn't have the luxury of completing the club's season in the Premier League - he was sacked in January 2012.

Despite not being given the opportunity to stick around long at a club in which he helped gain promotion, Warnock's knack for getting a team out of such a tough and troublesome league is clear to see. Two times he has done so in his career. He will now look for a third and, possibly, final promotion to add to his name with Cardiff.

This season is still in its early stages, but the Bluebirds are the current front-runners. The comparisons between their manager's successful campaigns with other clubs are uncanny. The way Neil Warnock has taken over and transformed the Welsh side's fortunes suggest that there are exciting times ahead for Cardiff City.
Ryan Stewart

23 years old, Sport Journalism graduate living in Salford. Work in web content in Media city and always looking to break in to sports writing. Manchester United season ticket holder.


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