Neil Warnock has wasted no time setting out his stall at Elland Road. Despite not officially taking charge until today, Neil couldn’t resist an input in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Doncaster Rovers, constantly on the phone to caretaker manager Neil Redfearn throughout the game, Warnock also gave the half-time team talk and issued tactical orders including a change of formation and Robert Snodgrass’ switch from the wing to a free-role in behind the strikers.

His early interviews show a man confident in his own abilities, but one who knows how important it is to manage expectations at Elland Road. Warnock was quick to point out the low-confidence levels and refused to build play-off hype by asserting Leeds United would be amongst the challengers, instead offering a rather ambiguous “never say never” response.

“So (there are) 14 games (to play), everybody’s trying to help everybody else aren’t they, because no-one’s running away with it, so you never say never do you?”

Warnock is seen by many as a manager who can get the best out of the players at his disposal, and he laid the groundwork for that with Luciano Becchio, pointing out that the midfield were playing too deep to offer any assistance to a striker who will win every header now he’s in charge. “Mark my words” he told Eddie Gray confidently.

Robert Snodgrass should also be given a lift under the new gaffer, as it’s clear from early interviews that he is considered to be the key player in this Leeds United side. Already our highest assist maker this season and the club’s second top-goalscorer (behind Ross McCormack), Snodgrass has consistently performed above and beyond most of his team-mates, and the freedom to roam will be a new challenge Robert Snodgrass will relish.

But getting the best out of Becchio and Snodgrass is only the start, Warnock has a lot of work to do if Leeds are to make a push for the play-offs this season. He’s under no illusions however and has already recognised the teams need for strengthening. In an interview today (Sunday 19th), he suggested that he already has someone in mind for his first signing, and that something may be completed before the Whites trip to troubled Portsmouth this weekend;

“We need two or even three players in if we can. Ideally, I’d love to get someone in by the weekend.”

Some fans will question whether he can get any kind of signing in with such financial limitations in place, but Warnock seems confident he can get funds out of Ken Bates, adding that;

“There’ll be times when I’ll have to tell [Ken Bates] what’s right for the club and he’ll have to listen.”

A largely tongue-in-cheek response from Warnock, no doubt, but having two characters with such enormous egos battling for attention under the same roof has led many to conclude that fireworks are inevitable. The Guardian for example described Neil Warnock’s decision to work for Ken Bates as “…a Faustian pact signed in darkest Hades.”

And the pair will be loving every second of it. Portrayed as an evil duo up there alongside the Kray twins, the Bates-Warnock combination could be exactly what Leeds United need to regain their status as the most hated club in English football – and that’s not a bad thing.

Neil Warnock has built a successful career out of creating siege mentalities wherever he goes, and with Leeds United, he has a club more comfortable with this approach than all else. Whilst some fans will take time to warm to the new manager due to his antics in the past, there has never been a club and manager more suited to one another than Leeds United and Neil Warnock.

Dirty Leeds: Now With Added Filth

  • MikeLeeds

    Play Offs for me

  • jamminjuda

    The Guardian does not have it quite right. The Faustian pact was wrought in the Devil’s domain Hell (Monte Carlo?). Hades is the abode of the dead, for which read Leeds with the fans seeming forever condemned to roam the lower divisions.

  • saltzby

    It is gonna be great – just great

  • mattbb1

    he’ll have to listen?…. watch Shaun Derry SIgn on loan by the next weekend, and Snodgrass made captain… cant wait – I may just break my resolution and go back to ER!

    • TSS

      @mattbb1 I loved SG, he was an excellent manager who with a supportive chairman that had signed targets liked Andrews, Sharp and Clingan would have got us promoted, but he was grateful for the opportunity to manage Leeds you can’t help feel he was taken advantage of.

      I don’t think Bates can do that to Warnock. He’ll simply up sticks and find work elsewhere in the space of an hour, so it’s reassuring to hear Warnock assert some authority. He holds a lot more cards than SG ever did, that’s for sure.

      • mattbb1

        just how will bates handle that?.. i’d love to see gwyn williams moved away from the transfer side of things now as well. Watch grayson take huddersfield to the premierl league!

  • Rawdonwhite

    Fasten your seat belts!

  • Bowy

    I’m buzzing to be honest & I never thought I’d ever say that about warnock but I do believe he is the right choice. I can’t wait for him running along the touch line pointing, shouting, telling the ref, linesman & opposition to fuck off. It might even gee us leeds fans to create a atmosphere at Elland Rd again. Maybe not this season but next……

  • CJR

    I put this in the last SS article…I’ve been looking at the QPR squad that Warnock put together and noticed that both Fitz Hall (One Size) and Shaun Derry are both out of contract in the summer. Although Derry is 34 he played 40 games for QPR last season and is just the type of experienced leader we need and and Warnock has always liked him. As he said on Goals on Sunday earlier on this season he was gutted to leave Leeds and saw it as the biggest honour of his career to play for them, he said he would never forgive Wise for blaming him for giving the Leeds team to Palace that day which he says he would never have done. Even as a part player coach would be good. Fitz Hall, a 30 year old 6.4 dominant experienced centre half that has gained promotion with both Newcastle and QPR. He was also Captain for them last season, just to the sort of player to bring on Tom Lees along side him. They would only cost in wages and sort the problem of experience and leaders out for a start. Whether we could get them on loan prior to the end of the season might be the difficult part though!

  • TimPM

    “A largely tongue-in-cheek response from Warnock”

    Many a truth is said in jest!

  • number1inyorkshire

    brown will play more for Warnock ,he had him before maybe even his captain for now ??

    obrien will get some games if he is fit and maybe connolly too .

  • Ady Marsh

    Great that Warnock is the new manager, he is on our side now, fire & brimstone. MOT

  • Tyler75

    I’d really like it to be Derry but don’t think so as we’ve got Michael Brown and Warnock’s managed and got the best out of him before. Fitz Hall is much more likely as it probably took him all of 30 seconds to work out that we’re not going to stop conceeding silly goals with O’Dea at centre-back. I’m not sure Lees will be secure of his place either.

    • Captaincrash

      @Tyler75 How many loanees can be named in the matchday squad, I’m sure there is a maximum.

      • TSS

        @Captaincrash@Tyler75 Not sure why, but 4 springs to mind? We’re definitely allowed 3 anyway and only have O’Dea and Smith at the minute.

        • Captaincrash

          @TSS @Tyler75 Sadly I guess we have to froget Delph but not Townsend so we are close to the ceiling…..

        • TSS

          @Captaincrash@Tyler75 Oh yeah! How could I forget him. Unless he plans to return someone? New manager, new ideas…

        • badras

          Townsend is on loan aswell and i think its 5 loanees .we have had delph o’dea ,smith and Townsend in the squad at same time . delph as gone back and probably wont be returning so i would expect another player to be signed on loan that is an aggressive centre midfielder

        • Tyler75

          @TSS @Captaincrash He might terminate someone’s loan agreement early – my guess (or wishful thinking) is O’Dea to be replaced by Fitz Hall

        • TimPM

          @Tyler75 @TSS @Captaincrash @badras

          52.3 There shall be three categories of temporary loan transfers allowed – Standard Loans, Emergency Loans and Youth Loans. The following restrictions shall apply to each type of loan:

          52.3.1 A maximum of 5 loan Players (Standard, Emergency or Youth) can be named in the Players listed on a team sheet for any individual match played under the auspices of The League. This figure shall include any additional loan of a goalkeeper approved by the Executive under the provisions of Regulation 54.

          52.3.2 Up to 4 loan Players (Standard, Emergency or Youth) may join one Club from another Club in any Season. An additional Youth Loan Player may be added to this figure.

          Badras is right.

        • Captaincrash

          @TimPM @Tyler75 @TSS @badras Thanks, clear and confirms we have a little ‘room for improvement’.

        • number1inyorkshire

          @TimPM @Tyler75 @TSS @Captaincrash @badras you need to get out more TIM PM lol

        • TimPM

          @number1inyorkshire @TimPM @Tyler75 @TSS @Captaincrash @badras Heheh. Google “championship loan rules –> 3rd link –> > 51. Standard, Emergency and Youth Loans –> Copy and paste.

          30 seconds!

  • Captaincrash

    Optimism abounds!

    Great isn’t it.

    • TSS

      @Captaincrash It’s scaring me. I’m going to phone doctor in morning and see if he has anything for it.

      • Captaincrash

        @TSS please pass on the medical advice!!

  • Tim Campbell

    Away with the family for the weekend, but my oh my how things have changed in a matter of days! Optimism now abounds, and even Captain birdseye has been given the weekend off from our usual tirade. Personally (McCarthey aside), I think we have recruited the best man out there. I think the Wolves job was there for Warnock if he had wanted it, but he chose us instead (puffs out chest with a sense of pride).This to me could be, and I say it with a certain amount of reserve with bates in the chair, be the start of a glorious revolution. Everything feels right about the appointment, a marriage made in heaven, as opposed to the other firey place mentioned in some quarters. Warnock has already said a lot of encouraging things, and as TSS has alluded to, Bates holds no fears for him. A great start yesterday, and another 3pts next week would set us up very nicely.

  • Tim Campbell

    Getting keith curle in alongside Warnock would do no harm in coaching our defence. I would love to know what Warnocks record is like in the transfer market, he seems to have an astute eye for the game, and his knowledge of the division we are in is also quite fresh so another plus there

  • OxfordWhite

    ‘the Bates-Warnock combination could be exactly what Leeds United need to regain their status as the most hated club in English football – and that’s not a bad thing’ 100% yes, bring it on, I’d rather be hated than laughed at or pitied.

    • Tyler75

      @OxfordWhite I think we’d probably need to appoint Fred The Shred as honorary Chairman before we could get close to Chelsea or Millwall in the ‘most hated club’ stakes

      • NorthEastLoiner

        @Tyler75 @OxfordWhite I’m up in the NE and we’re still hated though with a grudging respect for the support and what we’ve been through, Bates included, and when we’re back in the Premiership everyone will hate us totally again


    Maybe the optimism that is currently being felt, and will presumably be reflected in higher attendances, will make Bates realise that a little bit of investment can pay dividends.

    Warnock will be bold enough to state if he isn’t being backed properly so we wil soon find out whether Bates goes back to his usual ways again.

    I can only hope that Bates just didn’t trust Grayson enough to give him his infamous ‘war chest’ and he will have enough confidence in Colin to release the purse strings a bit.

    Did I really just give Bates the benefit of the doubt? I must have finally lost the plot!

    • number1inyorkshire

      @EYLEEDS i said that more or less on another post and got a bit of bad response well the TRUST with money thing ,you got a like from tss thats football for you

  • Bluesman

    Warnock know what he is about. Lets enjoy his time here! He will get more out of the players and god knows what he will do with the defence? An interesting couple of weeks lay ahead. I think that the two of them will be a good double act. Both will speak their minds and spark off each other. If they get together for the benefit of the squad who would want to stand between them. Let the good times roll!!

  • Dave DG

    Amazing what a few days can do, after personally boycotting 2 home games already this season, i thought i wouldnt be seeing the lads till at least next season,

    Well, now Mr Warnock is in charge i feel optomistic again,

    He has just gone public saying that the support for him via the online forums such as TSS helped make his decision to take the job, so if your reading this Neil, get a big bully boy in (maybe a defender) to put some fear back in the changing room. We should get a result at Portsmouth anyway, the real test will be against Southampton the week after, even a draw would be a decent result going on the past 2 months.

    If we dont make the play offs and promotion this year then just give us something to build on. If we finish strong come the end of April and Ken see’s the improvement then you never know he might give Neil a bit of cash for transfers, then maybe Snoddy, Clayton and White will believe we can win promotion and extend their contracts,

    Iv even had a sneaky fiver on Leeds getting promoted, 14/1 gotta be worth a punt! Jesus this time last week id probrably bet on them facing relagation,

    The future’s bright – The future’s Dirty Leeds

  • jigzy84

    The fact is that Leeds needed a change in manager it wasn’t working under him his championship win% was just over 40% and falling.

    Bates acted fast and got the job done and brought in the best current man for the job with a superb record of 7 promotions behind him. The fans should rightly be positive everything about him since Saturday morning has been excellent and above my high expectations.

    For all anti bates brigade that has criticised bates under the Grayson years this will be a chance for you to say sorry we got you wrong it was the inept Grayson’s transfer policy that was in the wrong and not you. Long live Ken he is doing a great job for Leeds since the administration days (which in my belief should have happened straight after the relegation from the prem)

    • TimPM

      @jigzy84 While I probably fall into your anti-Bates bracket (though only over the past year or so) I have sympathy with what you’re saying. But I really don’t think now is a time for point-scoring against other fans because plenty are quietly backing off to give Bates time to show us he’s a genuine bloke.

      Ramming the polarizing “us or them” mantra down our throats will just push more people back into the Anti-Bates reaction to Howson’s sale.

      • Tyler75

        @TimPM@jigzy84 More likely falling attendances, inconsistent performances from loan and freebie players brought into replace quality players let go on the cheap and increasing protests from a credible opposition (LUST) have panicked Bates into making a genuinely progressive and positive decision.

    • Tim Campbell


      I would like you to list all the signings you would have brought in on loans or free transfers over the same period Grayson had. Grayson worked within financial constraints that I’m sure in the most part won’t be as stringent for Warnock. Graysons biggest failing was tghat he loved the club too much and bates played on that fact!

      • mattbb1

        spot on

  • lufc79

    What a turn around,The next five games are going to be huge for us snoddy in the roll what made adel look so good for rangers last year could be just what we/he needed.I also think he will use brown to break up play like derry did for the R’s last year aswell.Get in a good centre half and who knows where we could end up come the end of the season.

    I dont want to go over the top just yet cause as a leeds fan anything could happen as you all know.But what i will say is COME ON YOU LEEDS,….MOT.

    • Tyler75

      @lufc79 Under a system with Snods in the hole then the width is going to have to come from the full-backs. White definitely fits the bill on the left. On the right, not sure Connolly or Smith would do what’s needed – this is an area Warnock may be looking at.

      • lufc79

        I think it will look something like 4,2,3,1 with one holding player in the middle of the park,

        (GK) Lonergan

        (DL) White

        (DC) O’Brien

        (DC) Lee’s

        (DR) Connolly

        (MC) Pugh/Brown

        (MC) Clayton

        (AM) Rogers/Nunez/Sam

        (AM) Snoddy

        (AM) Townsend

        (SC) Becchio

        I do belive the new gaffer will bring in a new centre half very soon and with any luck a right back and a central midfielder.

        • Captaincrash

          @lufc79 Any system not employing McCormack wouldn’t get my vote!!

        • lufc79

          I know where your coming from to leave out our top goal scorer seems crazy.i was just trying to get the feel of the new shape we will be useing.he may find himself coming in off one of the wings?

        • Captaincrash

          @lufc79 very possible and he could do it but just seems a big sacrifice given his hunger and delivery these past few months. it’s certainly going to be interesting thats for sure.

        • NorthEastLoiner

          @lufc79 I think 4 3 1 2 with Snodgrass playing behind Becchio and McCormack

  • number1inyorkshire

    he will look to bromby and brown and some of the older lot ,one person not coming will be keith curle though ronnie jepson looks like he is on his way from QPR in some coaching role ,who will be the keepeing coach does anyone know who works with Warnock

  • Tim Campbell

    Larry officially back in work with Huddersfield – I wish you all the best in your new job larry

    • number1inyorkshire

      @Tim Campbell unless you get up and play us at any time ever when the mighty whites will kick your terrier ass

    • mattbb1

      larry, well done on the new job. Can I recommend Billy Paynter as a striker with a pedigree in league one.

    • Tyler75

      @Tim Campbell Maybe he’ll take Paynter on loan ! Best of luck simon