Neil Warnock says Leeds United should not panic over new manager search

Warnock is ready to step aside

Leeds boss Neil Warnock has urged the club's owners not to panic in their search for a new manager and wants to help them find the “main man”.

Warnock is ready to step aside after Saturday's home defeat to Huddersfield left Leeds seven points adrift of the npower Championship play-offs with eight games left to play.

But the 64-year-old has told Dubai-based equity investment firm GFH Capital, who completed their £52million takeover at Elland Road in December, that he can play a leading role in finding his successor.

"I want them to get the best manager they can get to replace me and some of them might not be available until the summer," said Warnock.

"They're in a situation now where the club is geared for the Premier League.

"The new owners have come in, it was the longest takeover I've ever known, I expected that to be finalised last August, so it has been a difficult eight or nine months for me.

"But they've come in and they're going to do things steady.

"It's not like they've got to chop and change everything now. I think two or three additions now with a very good squad, the whole club with the fans and everything, it's just geared now.

"I know they've (fans) heard it all before, but I think there's some optimism at the club.

"It's a great club and I can help them as well whether I'm here or not."

Asked if he would step aside now if the right candidate be came available, Warnock added: "Goodness me yes.

"I'm not naive. If we've not got a chance of getting in the play-offs they can do two things, they can ask me to stay on if they can't get the main man, because they might not be able to get him.

"I don't want them to panic and get anybody. I've seen some of the people putting their hat in the ring and quite honestly I think the club should be patient.

"I've got a couple of ideas of who they should be going for if that's the case, but let's see what happens.

"I think we're quite capable of going to Ipswich and Derby and getting six points, so you never write it off."

Warnock, whose contract expires in June, has made no secret of his intentions to walk away from the club this summer if he failed to clinch a record-breaking eighth promotion and lead them back into the Barclays Premier League.

He wants to return to the south-west to be closer to his family home.

"At 64 I don't want to be that far away from my family.

"I wanted to give it a go to get in the Premier League because it's a fabulous club and I still think with a little bit more fortune and a bit more investment at the right time we could have been there.

"To lose Snodgrass was a major blow. He was the only player I didn't want to lose.

"We've never quite replaced that quality. It's frustrating for me.

"If I was five or 10 years younger it wouldn't be frustrating, I'd be looking forward to everything about the future.

"It's just the situation I'm in, that's why.

"I want the club to go forward and we've still got to give it our best shot.

"If I'm still here in a fortnight's time, we've got to give it our best shot.

"The following will be fantastic at Ipswich, I'm sure that we will sell out and then Derby here on the Monday, two great games really.

"So I wouldn't write the group off."

Leeds travel to Ipswich after the international break on March 30 and then take on Derby at Elland Road on Easter Monday (April 1).

Former Southampton manager Nigel Adkins is the bookmakers favourite to replace Warnock, while Brighton boss Gus Poyet, who spent 12 months as assistant to Dennis Wise at Elland Road in 2006, and ex-Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio have also been linked with the job.

PA

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