Neil Warnock: Here's hoping this is the closest I'll come to getting fired this season

What I Learnt This Week


1. I'll risk a cannonball run while we're winning


I guess some managers would have been a bit wary of posing for the photograph that accompanies this column. I can see the headline already: "Warnock to be fired".

Hopefully, with my Crystal Palace team having lost one in 11 matches, a run that has us sitting just behind the play-off places and through to the next round of the FA Cup, that won't happen just yet. But it wouldn't be unusual for a Championship manager to feel insecure. Glenn Roeder was the sixth manager in this division to be fired this season; that's a quarter of us and we're only in mid-January.

There's a lot of clubs with big expectations, and a lot with financial concerns. Clubs come down with big wage bills and if they don't get back up within the two seasons of parachute money it can get tricky. So Wolves, for example, will be under less pressure than Birmingham. My old club, Sheffield United, came down the year before with Watford and Charlton. Only the Blades are top half, the others have both sacked the manager.

I know Phil Scolari has been feeling under pressure, you could tell that by the way he put his head in his hands when Southend scored in the FA Cup replay, but if he is under stress I bet his bank manager is laughing his head off at the prospect of him getting the push. Chelsea are just off the top so I don't see why he's under such pressure.



2. Don't underestimate the fans' dedication

We were on the seafront because of a phone call I got at half-eight last Saturday telling me our game at Plymouth was off. The local press rang and asked me for a quote about how disappointed I was. I said, "Not really, it means I can have another four days down here when the game is rearranged for a Tuesday night".

The lads had flown down the Friday night. We didn't want to wait all day for the flight back so I got them on the bus back to London, then had a day out with the family on Plymouth Hoe. It's where Sir Francis Drake was playing bowls when the Spanish Armada came by. As every schoolboy knows, he finished the game, then chased the Armada away.

It's a beautiful part of the country. We had lunch at the yacht club on the front and the views across the Hoe are amazing. It was interesting that in the two hours we walked we bumped into three couples who were Palace fans, who had come down for a few days. It shows how dedicated fans are. One was a retired couple who had spent a week there.

While we were sat on these cannons, overlooking the Sound, I turned to Sharon to give her a kiss. William, who was just below me, said, "Dad, you shouldn't be doing that in public".

William had a game of football on Monday and scored the winner in a 3-2 victory. Just like his dad he talked me through it. You can always make them sound better but maybe it was as good as he claimed. One of the mothers told me he "were like a hot knife cutting through butter".

3. If I had £100m I would make a case for defence

If I were Mark Hughes I don't think I'd make spending £100m on Kaka my priority, I'd be offering £15m for John Terry and £40m for Rio Ferdinand. Kaka is a good player and I don't think money means that much to him, but it could be a situation where neither he, nor Milan, can turn it down. Money doesn't necessarily mean you will be successful – though Jack Walker's Blackburn and Abramovich's Chelsea showed it doesn't half help.



4. You always need to recharge your batteries

You may recall the family bought me a scooter at Christmas to help me get around the park. Amy's doing a cross-country run in a couple of weeks so I said I'd go with her on a practice run. We set off at dusk. Sharon said she had charged the scooter up but, after about a mile, it suddenly went click, click, click. The battery had gone. So instead of relaxing my hip I've had to push this flaming heavy bike a mile back home, cursing Sharon all the way. I came home limping like an old man with my hip. I'll have to take over the battery-charging.



5. It'll be white hot when Pompey visit the Lane

I expect it will be a lively atmosphere at White Hart Lane tomorrow. Harry Redknapp's old club Portsmouth are in town and their fans are the loudest in the country even when they haven't got something to shout about. They never shut up. That drummer, and the Pompey Chimes, it drives you mad.

I enjoy going back to my old clubs. Last year going back to Bramall Lane was wonderful. I had all four sides of the ground singing my name. It was probably the most emotional time I've ever had as a manager. Most receptions aren't like that but it always adds a little bit more spice. You're a bit more nervous and there's more adrenalin. Your mood transmits to the team. They know it is more than just letting the manager down if they do not perform. They know they'll be in for training at 7am the following week.

If Spurs win they will go above Portsmouth, so it is a big game for Redknapp and his successor, Tony Adams. I'm sure there will be a few players in the Portsmouth team wanting to show Harry how good they are, most of them crossing their fingers to see if they can get a move.



6. Skilful players need help from the referee

We play Ipswich today. I bet Jim Magilton was hoping Leicester had taken us to extra time and penalties on Wednesday. That's what I want every time we play a team involved in a midweek cup tie. I was glad to come through on Wednesday. We'd shut one side of the ground and it was a strange atmosphere. I felt the lads did a decent performance in the circumstances.

The only disappointment was Victor Moses having to come off in the first half. He'd taken a series of kicks from different defenders, which makes it difficult for the ref to get his book out. I don't know if he was being targeted but if I was the opposition manager that is the sort of instruction I'd be giving, especially as it seems to me that more tackling from behind is being allowed this season.

Skilful players need protection. I know Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't help himself with the way he goes down so easily, but sometimes he has been genuinely fouled.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star