'I don't want to die on the job.' says former Sheffield United boss

Neil Warnock says he does not want to die on the job after agreeing to extend his stay at Middlesbrough for another season.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 6:36 pm

The Teessiders announced on Thursday that the 72-year-old will remain at the helm for the 2021-22 campaign after being parachuted in to the Riverside Stadium in a firefighting role in June last year.

Former Sheffield United boss Warnock has repeatedly shelved plans to retire – he had planned to call it a day at 55 – but has promised his wife Sharon that he will eventually hang up his tracksuit.

He said: “The problem we’ve got is Sharon has had illnesses and I’m 72 and when you read the news nowadays, there’s always somebody popping their clogs younger than me.

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Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock laughs whilst watching on the touchline during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough.

“I don’t want to die on the job, if I’m honest, so I’d like to finish on a high and I would like to see a little bit of what me and Sharon love.”

Warnock’s decision to accept Boro chairman Steve Gibson’s offer of an extended stay on Teesside following talks on Wednesday will at least allow his wife time to de-clutter their Cornwall home without the vastly-experienced manager under her feet.

He said with a smile: “She was the one that said ‘you ought to do it’. She’s got so much to do in Cornwall now.

“At the minute with the situation being what it is, if I’d been in Cornwall without a job, I think she would have fallen out with me a few times, if I’m honest. I am not the best to have helping her around the house.

“Amy, our daughter, she summed it up great about six or eight weeks ago when Sharon made up her mind, really. She said ‘if you think back, Mum, whenever Dad’s at home, he gets on your nerves, so you might as well let him work while you sort the house out because when you’re together at home, you fall out’.”

Warnock, who was drafted in to lead a successful fight for Sky Bet Championship survival following Jonathan Woodgate’s exit, will now set his sights on another tilt at promotion having admitted the Teessiders are long-shots this time around.

He will do so having been persuaded by Gibson that he could not leave without experiencing a full house at the Riverside Stadium with his reign to date having been conducted under coronavirus restrictions.

The Yorkshireman said: “I’m not bothered about getting the sack, so I’m in an unusual situation, really. I want us to all enjoy it.

“It means such a lot to people that we’ve got to try to put smiles back on their faces next year and really have a go.”