Neil Warnock: 'I'm so proud. A generation have grown up never seeing QPR in the Premier League'

The QPR manager and Independent columnist looks back on the great day which saw his club return to the top tier of the English game

Of all my promotions none has made me prouder than this. A year ago we were fighting relegation to League One, now we've won promotion to the Premier League, and done it with a great set of lads.

Saturday at Watford typified our season. Paddy Kenny, who's been magnificent all through, and often played with strains and bruises, came in from the warm-up to say he'd injured his shoulder and couldn't make it. We had to change the team-sheet. Radek Cerny came in for his first league game of the season – and kept a clean sheet.

Twenty minutes into the game Fitz Hall came off injured. We were already without Clint Hill who looks like he'll have to go in for a wash-out of his ankle. When he saw the surgeon at the start of the season he was told it needs an op, but might last two weeks, so see how it goes. He's played 43 games. That epitomises the whole club.

We've been top most of the season, and in the top two for all of the season, which means we've been there to be shot at, but the players have thrived on the pressure. They've not been afraid, they've gone out and enjoyed it. And I've loved it. There's been some difficult moments, but there always are in this job and I've loved being in charge of these players. We've had a bit of luck at times, but the players have earned it. The old saying about "The harder I work, the luckier I get" comes to mind.

When I took over last March, though I did say I wanted to get promotion, I never imagined we'd turn it around so well, so fast. We changed a lot in the summer, and not just the playing staff, but we gelled straight away. One of the new signings, Jamie Mackie, set us off with a run of goals and I was delighted he was able to join us at Watford despite being out since January with a bad leg break. Then everyone else chipped in.

Now I can't wait until next season. It's going to be so exciting having clubs like Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal coming to Loftus Road. The fans deserve it – there's a whole generation grown up who have never seen QPR in the Premier League.

I have a number of players I'd like to bring in. I know some will cost money. I don't tell the owners I want X million pounds. I think I've got to be sensible - and I think they'll be sensible if I am.

I don't think it's all about finance. Blackpool have more than held their own this season without paying big transfer fees or wages. I'd love Ian Holloway to keep them up. They've gone about things the right way. They haven't feared anybody. I think seeing Blackpool has educated me.

You do have to go to some places and see if you can just keep the score down – I don't want to get battered anywhere – but at the same time I want to enjoy it.

And I'm sure we'll give a good account of ourselves. But that's for the future. For me we're just enjoying the feeling of being champions.

Warnock's seventh heaven

QPR's promotion on Saturday is Neil Warnock's seventh as a manager, with six different clubs:

* 1986-87 Scarborough

Wins the Conference title

* 1989-90 Notts County

Promotion from Third Division

* 1990-91 Notts County

Back-to-back promotions take County into the top flight.

* 1994-95 Huddersfield Town

Takes Town out of the Second Division.

* 1995-96 Plymouth Argyle

Fourth play-off victory in six years.

* 2005-06 Sheffield United

Second place ensures promotion to the Premier League with his boyhood club.

* 2010-11 with Queen's Park Rangers

Guides Rangers into the Premier League

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
Life and Style
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own