Expect Neil Warnock's Cardiff to flirt with the play-offsby Mike Holden / 07 August 2017, 11:21Tweet
Neil Warnock has brought positivity flooding back to the Welsh capital, his infectious enthusiasm and up-and-at-em approach convincing fans they can dare to dream of something better than mediocrity. Having replaced Paul Trollope last October, Warnock began changing attitudes overnight and seven wins in ten league outings at the start of 2017 was a taste of the standards he will aim to sustain this time around. Lee Tomlin is the stellar name among some intriguing transfer business. The Bluebirds are going to have a right good go.
Highly extravert, Warnock always puts himself at the heart of the community wherever he works and immerses himself in the region. He talks for twice as long as your average manager during pre-match briefings and loves to tell stories, feeding reporters all sorts of tidbits about conversations he’s had with his players and other managers recently. He’s also exceptional at up-managing, giving owners and chairman a real sense of involvement in his work, which can be helpful when you start asking them for more money to spend.
"The bookies aren't silly, we're supposed to be eighth from the bottom. What we want is a side that can go anywhere and win that game. Yes, you're going to have hiccups and disappointments but you've got so many games in the Championship, you've just got to get over those disappointments. Tactically, we've got so many options now. We've shown we can be a difficult side to play against but you still need someone to unlock the door and get you those three points instead of one."
Given the change in mood around the club, in stark contrast to the past three years, you could argue this season is already a success. Warnock has somehow managed to convince everyone that a promotion push is possible, while at the same time keeping it real, creating a climate in which there’s virtually no potential downside. With all his experience, you'd fancy Warnock to have the Bluebirds flirting with the top six at some stage but sustaining that standard over 46 matches might be asking a bit too much.
Prediction: top half