Hatters chief hails the 'wonderful' job done by Boro boss Warnock

Town manager full of admiration for experienced counterpart

By Mike Simmonds
Saturday, 1st May 2021, 8:11 am
Boro boss Neil Warnock
Boro boss Neil Warnock

Luton boss Nathan Jones believes his opposite number at Middlesbrough Neil Warnock has done a ‘wonderful job’ at the Riverside Stadium this season.

The 72-year-old took over at the back end of last campaign with Boro in 21st position and in real danger of dropping down to League One, only to pick up four wins from the final eight games to lead the Teessiders safety.

This term, Warnock has turned the former Premier League side into play-off challengers for the majority of the season, only falling out of contention in recent weeks, as they sit ninth, three points above Town with two games left.

On the hugely experienced manager, who has been in charge of Sheffield United, Cardiff and QPR to name just three of his previous clubs, Jones said: “It’s very difficult to compare any records against Neil’s because he’s been very successful at this level.

“I think it’s seven promotions that he’s had, which is a fantastic achievement.

"He’s taken charge of so many games so he’s really experienced.

“He’s done a wonderful job there because, let’s not forget, Middlesbrough were in a similar position to us last year.

“If we’re saying that we’ve done a real good job then Neil’s done exactly the same.

"They are a bit more experienced at this level with more resources to do well, but to turn it around like Neil has, he’s done a fantastic job.

"We know it’s going to be a really difficult game, regardless of what team Neil takes charge of.”

Warnock does have a number of top players at his disposal, with £25m Everton signing Yannick Bolasie joining on loan in January and a host of Premier League experience, including ex-Sunderland attacker Duncan Watmore, midfielder Jonny Howson and former Manchester United defender Paddy McNair.

Jones continued: “They’ve signed a few, Neeskens Kebano (on loan from Fulham) and people who are not even featuring like (Ashley) Fletcher and (Britt) Assombalonga, who are £22m worth of strikers, so they must be a good squad.

“They’ve got internationals, Premier League experience and players that have done very well, but that’s just Championship football.

“We could say that for pretty much 15 or 16 teams in the league.

"There’s only a handful with no Premier League experience, so it’s another game, but another game that we’re really looking forward to.

“We have to enjoy the position we’re in.

"It’s not being flippant or callous about it, but it means that we can go after the games, rather than fear losing.”