As is customary, here are five things to expect from our new leader Neil Harris and its mostly all positive stuff, apart from the first one maybe, depending on your likes or prejudices.
If you’re a Madine man, then Christmas has come early because you are likely to get far more Gary going forward. Harris favours a battering ram up top, having utilised former Welsh international Steve Morison as the head of his attack in the past and then when he departed in the summer, signed man mountain Matt Smith from QPR to inherit that mantle.
Madine would appear to tick that particular box and the club will surely be keen to see an expensive asset better utilised. That may rub some up the wrong way, but as Kieffer Moore is showing for Wales big can be both beautiful and effective.
Millwall fans boo when you pass backwards, so its always an intense place to play. Expect Harris to adopt a similar approach, as his first press conference was littered with promises of maximum effort and aggression. That is no bad thing, as its certainly an attribute that was declined this season. That may also bode well for Will Vaulks, who is very much that kind of player and has not had a look in for a while now.
Harris was reluctant to divulge if there will be money to spend in January, but it is very likely that he will be afforded the opportunity to make his mark on the squad. Had Warnock remained though, that may not have been the case. Having spent a great deal in the summer and still ended up drifting in mid-table, why would Vincent Tan throw more money at the situation? Now, he has a new man on the best part of a three-year deal and although much may depend on how the next six weeks pan out, he is sure to get some spending money from Santa.
More effort in cup competitions
Probably the most frustrating aspect of the Warnock reign for me was his complete apathy for the cup competitions, which spread throughout the squad and in the stands. I understand why, as its small potatoes compared to promotion and relegation, but football is supposed to be about glory and there’s nothing glorious about surrendering.
I’ve seen Cardiff play in both cup finals and not many generations of Cardiff fans will be able to say that. I wouldn’t swap those games for either of the promotions to the Premier League. Harris has good pedigree in the FA Cup and takes it very seriously, having twice led Millwall to the quarter finals. More of that please.
As gutted as I am to see Warnock go, his departure was incoming, sooner or later. We’re here now and it is always exciting to see what a fresh pair of eyes makes of the squad. Harris has no shortage of options, so it will be fascinating to see if he takes a liking to Warnock’s favourites or gravitates to some of the alternatives.
Harris has already said that he’s not going to start ripping up what Warnock built, but over time you wonder which of the three goalkeepers will he favour and which of the four centre backs and wingers will he prefer. All will soon be revealed.