Bluebirds manager Neil Warnock has been out meeting the fans. He attended a Q&A evening at Nathaniel Car Sales, and was also the main guest for a charity event at Cardiff’s Radisson Blu Hotel in aid of Cancer Research Wales.
Warnock also spent time chatting to supporters and posing for photographs before and during City’s 3-0 charity pre-season win at Taffs Well when money was raised for Rookwood and Velindre hospitals.
‘View from the Ninian’ were lucky enough to attend these events and heard from the main man on a number of topics:
Neil Warnock on Vincent Tan:
‘Vincent is enjoying it so much more now. He has put an awful lot of money into the club, whatever you say.
If I had been manager when he came in we would have gone about things in a different way, but he didn’t know about tradition and what you should do at a club. It was all new to him. He has learned a lot.’
Neil Warnock on Cardiff City and Chairman Mehmet Dalman:
‘This club is a little like Sheffield United in the North. A bunch of nettles. I like those sort of clubs, sort of underdogs. I’ve always had a good welcome at Cardiff and two or three guys have been there, outside the ground, for donkeys years, greeting managers and players as they arrive.
They used to say to me ’come and manage Cardiff’. Mehmet rang me while I was in Scotland and said he would fly to Scotland as soon as possible, but I said I would go to London the next day.
I had also spoken to Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers.
Mehmet and I had breakfast and after 10 minutes, before we had talked terms, I said: “Yes, I’ll come. I will be the next Cardiff manager.” He could not believe it and said: ‘I’ll talk to Vincent Tan’. I replied: “Just tell him I’m coming.”
We shook hands on it. I am from Yorkshire – once I shake hands I am committed.
Mehmet and I did not talk money until later. We did talk about a bonus for achieving Premier League football, but that was at a time when we were still trying to stay in Champ.
I love Mehmet. I can’t say how much I like him and would trust him with my life even though I’ve only known him 18 months.
He has such a calm presence about him. I tell him when I am frustrated and within two days Mehmet calms a situation and I have got what I want. I don’t know how he does it, but he obviously speaks to Vincent and gets things sorted. You have to have a chairman like that. Managers need somebody to motivate them.’
Neil Warnock on the off-season:
‘It’s probably been the most difficult summer of my career, but I expected that. It’s been hard to plan what we want for next season with a limited budget.
I had five days away with my wife, Sharon, in Italy and that was great, but apart from that it’s been really hectic bringing in new signings and completing re-signings.
Thankfully we got more or less every target we wanted and stabilised things for the new season. Gunnar (Aron Gunnarsson) joins us in Cornwall next week and we hope Marko Grujic (currently on tour with Liverpool in America) comes back to us. Things are agreed in principle, but not confirmed officially.
A number of clubs are after him, but he enjoyed it with us last season and Marko flew back from Serbia just for the open top bus tour. I didn’t expect him to do that.
Looking forward I’m looking to get a loan striker in before the transfer deadline.’
Neil Warnock on England’s World Cup:
‘I am a big fan of Gareth Southgate. He’s a lovely man and I spoke to him before World Cup. They play a 5-3-2 system and we will play that at some stage this season.’
Neil Warnock on Red Adair:
‘I have only taken over teams like Cardiff that are struggling. I’m like Red Adair, an American who became famous for putting oil fires out. I have always had to build clubs from nothing. Clubs I join have been in dire straits.
‘When I leave clubs they are generally in better shape than when I arrived.’
Neil Warnock on Wales:
‘It’s a beautiful part of the country. I live near Ogmore overlooking the water and love sitting on the balcony. My wife, Sharon, is coming up to live here next season.’
Neil Warnock on budgets:
‘I have spent £24m (on transfer fees) and should have probably £10m left in the budget, but I’m not bothered about spending that if I can get one in the loan signings I’m keen on.
‘Our wage bill is just over half of Huddersfield Town’s and they are the lowest above us, but that should not worry us because we just have more to prove next season.
‘We will cause a few problems, ruffle a few feathers, at that level.’
Header image: Neil Warnock (Jeremy Segrott/Flickr)