Neil Warnock has been mixing it with the fans recently and we were lucky enough to be in attendance. Check out part one here and crack on with part two below:
Neil Warnock on playing formations:
‘We played 4-3-3 last season, while there will be times when we switch to 4-4-2 or 5-3-2, similar to England, in the Premier League.’
Neil Warnock on players:
‘Josh Murphy can play in that Raheem Sterling role when he plays for England, while Bobby Reid can play in front of players like Aron Gunnarsson.
‘Kenneth Zohore was a little up and down last season, but he’s looking sharp in pre-season and we’ll get him back to a more consistent level.
‘Gary Madine has been the best player in training. His form has been unbelievable. He has his critics, but certainly not me. If we have to hold the ball up he is the best one to do that.
‘Alex Smithies has come in and, along with Neil Etheridge, we have two goalkeepers who know it is up to them.
‘We know what type of team we are and know what we are up against. The wage bill is one I can survive on.
‘Cardiff City will be underdogs again, but I love the players I have brought in. They all have something to prove, they have ability and pace.
‘There is competition in different areas which we didn’t have last season.
It’s an exciting time at Cardiff City. Kids come to matches and enjoy themselves.’
Neil Warnock on local talent:
‘There has been so much to do at the club it was only at the end of last season that I started taking a hand in the Academy. In the new season our under-23 team will have four fixtures a month – and in two of those we will field out under-18 team.
‘The coaches will arrange a couple of friendlies against men’s teams per month, playing clubs like Hereford FC.
‘We will have a 25-man Premier League squad, while some players are likely to go out on loan.
Mark Harris has done well. He had a major problem with shin splints last season and couldn’t really go out on loan, but he will in 2018-19.
Rhys Healey has impressed in his loan spells and is another player likely to go out.’
‘There are good Academy lads at the ages of 16, 17 and 18 and that’s why I want them to play under-23 matches.’
Neil Warnock on Cardiff’s pre-season tour:
‘I love going to clubs like Tavistock and Bodmin. The lads change in old-fashioned changing rooms, handing their clothes on a little peg. It doesn’t do players any harm at all and helps to make sure they are grounded.
‘We don’t want to be flying halfway around World. When we went to Cornwall last season there was a barbecue at our house. I told the players that I had seven promotions and know what I am talking about.
‘If you listen to what I say we have one heck of a chance to get into the playoffs.’
Neil Warnock on Premier League football:
‘All the top teams are coming to Cardiff City Stadium and it will be great for kids to see their team playing in blue in the top division.
‘We want our home stadium to become a fortress. I have never experienced or heard an atmosphere like our last match last season (v Reading).
‘I attended Wales v the Republic of Ireland and Wales v Australia and the Welsh national anthem had hairs on my back standing up.
‘Cardiff v Reading, though, was something else. Remarkable.’
Neil Warnock on the lowest point of 2017/18:
‘When we lost 3-1 at Derby County. Fulham were 23 games unbeaten, they had so much money, so many quality players. Many people thought they were going to get automatic promotion.
‘We were playing Hull on the following Saturday and they had beaten Wolves, Fulham and Aston Villa.
‘After the Derby game I felt really down on the bus heading home to Cardiff and Sharon rang. She knew I was upset and wasn’t in the mood to chat. I told her we would speak again the next morning.
‘I rang her at 10am, asked Sharon what she was doing and answered: “I set off two hours ago to come to Cardiff. You need me. I am bringing the dogs and we are just coming over the Severn Bridge. You need your mind taking off things for a while. You need me there and we are staying for two weeks until after the Reading game.”
‘Unbelievable. ’Shaz’ has played a massive role in ensuring football is an enjoyment for me.’
Neil Warnock on Cardiff’s 2-0 win at Hull:
‘I gave the best pre-match team talk of my life at Hull. I never know what I am going to say before games, but I’m better when it’s off the cuff.
‘Fulham had played on the Friday night and were losing 1-0 at Sunderland, who had a penalty shout which wasn’t given. Fulham equalised and then won with an offside goal.
‘We had to win at Hull and the players were all sitting, waiting for me to speak. I looked round the room and said:
Who would have thought any of you would have a chance of promotion and playing Premier League football. What I have done with you lot is a miracle. Today is not about you – the players – it’s all about my eighth promotion. I won’t get another chance. You are going to die for me out there and prove people wrong. If we win that’s Fulham gone. I am not asking you to do anything you can’t achieve. It’s about me. I’m 68 and want you lot to repay me with a win at Hull.
‘That’s exactly what they did. It was a fantastic trip home.’
Neil Warnock on Mozza’s wonder goal at Hull:
‘”Mozza”’ told me after the game that he didn’t know why he was so far forward and added: ‘It won’t happen again!’
‘He played the ball out to Nathaniel Mendez-Laing. Sean felt there was nothing on, kept running and then went again and found himself on the right wing before going past two defenders into the penalty area before scoring.’
Neil Warnock on clinching promotion with a 0-0 draw against Reading:
‘I was so disappointed at half-time. When Birmingham City scored against Fulham there was a buzz going around ground, but I wasn’t aware of that.
‘I go into a little room on my own to collect thoughts during the break and speak to Ronnie (Jepson) and Blackie (Kevin Blackwell).
‘”Rowbs”’ (James Rowberry) was also in there and I told them it was time to give the players a rollicking. We needed more urgency.
‘As I left the room ‘Rowbs’ asked if I knew the Fulham score. I said no, he said it was 2-0 and my reaction was “Oh no”. Then he added Birmingham were winning and I gave him a nice smacker on his lips, a massive kiss.
‘Things changed. Our lads knew the score at Birmingham and didn’t want to make a costly mistake.
‘If Fulham had been 2-0 ahead I am convinced we would have won, but the goalless draw was enough for promotion.’
Neil Warnock on the stadium he’s most looking forward to visiting in the Premier League:
‘My favourite ground was the old White Hart Lane. I loved that stadium, so probably going to Spurs’ new home. But there are so many great places to go to and Cardiff fans will follow us every step of the way.’
Neil Warnock on Cardiff’s midfield:
‘People are saying we need something extra and, yes, it would be nice to get somebody in with that pass. But we can’t afford it.
‘And we have quality in Rallsy (Joe Ralls), Gunnar (Aron Gunnarsson), Loic (Damour) and, hopefully, Marko (Grujic).’
Neil Warnock on the team from the past he would have loved to manage:
‘Liverpool. The team with Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish. I used black and white clips of those two when I talk to my strikers now, showing how hard they closed the opposition down.’
‘They were international players, World class players. I tell my strikers that if Rushy and Kenny did it, you can do it. I also loved the way they had wingers like Ian Callaghan and Co.’
Neil Warnock on THAT spat with Wolves manager Nuno:
‘I rang Nuno two weeks after that and said well done when they were promoted. He was gobsmacked and I told him my call was because he had done a brilliant job.
‘We met at the League Managers event in London soon after and had a chat. Life is too short.’
Image: Neil Warnock (Jeremy Segrott/Flickr)