When Neil Warnock was one match away from becoming Sheffield Wednesday manager
Former Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock has reignited memories of when he nearly became boss of arch-rivals Sheffield Wednesday.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the lifelong Unitedite chuckled as he recalled an approach from then-Owls chairman Milan Mandaric after Dave Jones’ sacking in 2013.
Wednesday were towards the bottom of the Championship table with Stuart Gray overseeing a mini-turnaround that would go on to see him claim the job.
Warnock was out of work following a departure from Leeds United that saw him attract critics for his handling of the on-field assault of Owls keeper Chris Kirkland by a Leeds fan at Hillsborough.
“To be fair I’ve got quite a few good pals who are Wednesdayites, my sister was a Wednesdayite,” Warnock said on the Sky Sports Football Show.
“Growing up in our family, there wasn’t like there is now where it’s one or the other.
“But I spoke to him and he wanted me to take the job and I said 'okay, but give it 48 hours, Milan, and ask a few questions around the place and if you still want me to take it, I’ll take it'.
“When he found it, the press got hold of it, the Wednesday fans started on the internet and I think it frightened Milan to death!
“I think I’d have done a good job at the time, if I’m honest, but it was one of these things.
“I like Milan but I did warn him, I said ‘look, you have a think about it Milan, it’s not an easy thing to do.’”
Speaking at the time in his column in the national media, Warnock revealed that he had approached Wednesdayite Michael Vaughan to discuss whether he would be accepted by the fans and described Mandaric’s approach as ‘knocking at an open door’.
He believed had Wednesday not grabbed a midweek win at Leicester the move would have been rushed through.
“While there had been supportive fans there were also some noisy, critical ones,” he said at the time.
“Sky Sports had rounded up some outside the ground. It made good TV, I guess, though they would have had better analysis speaking to people at the Sheffield Star, or Radio Sheffield.”