Rotherham United: Warnock holds secret to Millers survival

Boss Neil Warnock and skipper Kirk Broadfoot
Boss Neil Warnock and skipper Kirk Broadfoot
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Skipper Kirk Broadfoot knows Rotherham United boss Neil Warnock has ‘the knack’ ... he’s just not quite sure how the great man does what he does!

The Millers players are loving life under their new manager, having won four and drawn one of their last five matches to climb out of the Championship drop zone and into 20th place.

Kirk Broadfoot

Kirk Broadfoot

But Broadfoot says only the 67-year-old himself can truly say what makes his leadership so special.

When The Star enquired of the centre-half what Warnock’s secret was, he grinned: “You need to ask him that. That’s why he’s won so many promotions!”

Events at the more unfamiliar end of the table are occupying Warnock right now as his team head into a sold-out home clash with Leeds United on Saturday.

A veteran of seven promotions and successful survival campaigns with Torquay United and QPR, he is looking for victory against former Rotherham manager Steve Evans’ West Yorkshire visitors, particularly as Fulham and MK Dons, the two teams immediately below the Millers in the table, face each other on the same day.

Neil Warnock

Neil Warnock

Broadfoot is delighted to have Warnock at the helm for the eight-game run-in which will decide the club’s fate.

While the grizzled defender can only wonder precisely how his boss goes about his business, he certainly sees the effect on matchdays.

“Neil just sets us up so well,” he said. “He believes in the boys, he gives us confidence, he tells us to go out and play and that if we work hard for each other we’ll get the rewards.”

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is an admirer of Warnock’s old-fashioned, man-management style and is pleased to see his long-time friend out of retirement, even though the Millers beat The Tractors Boys 1-0 earlier this month at Portman Road.

“Me and Brucey (Hull City manager Steve Bruce) were in Portugal when we were out of work and over a bottle of beer we were bemoaning the fact that it’s maybe not what people want anymore,” he recalled.

“It turns out that it is. Neil is the same. I guess there are a few of us of that ilk. None of us are going to change. Just keep getting the results, that’s the main thing.”

And that’s what Warnock and partner Kevin Blackwell have done since the first win win of their reign, against Brentford a month ago ... just kept getting results.

No secret here for Broadfoot.

“Neil’s a really good manager,” he said. “And the same with Kev. Kev’s a really good coach as well.”

Click here for Richard Wood on Steve Evans