Neil Warnock: Mackie and Moses prove that nice guys can finish first

What I Learnt This Week

One of the best parts of this job is seeing young players develop their potential and I looked on with pride this week at the performances of Jamie Mackie and Victor Moses, two smashing lads who have really come on since I first saw them.

Victor's a quiet lad. I don't think I heard him speak for 12 months after I gave him his debut at Crystal Palace. I brought him into the team with Sean Scannell to give us some freshness and pace, soon after I took over. I'd never seen anything like him for his dribbling skills.

We played him wide but he is more dangerous in a free role centrally. Roberto Martinez can now play him there as the penny has dropped and he's working so much harder for the team. Victor was very unlucky to have his headed goal wiped out against Manchester United: that would have been a real collector's item.

Like Victor, Jamie's crossing isn't quite good enough yet for a wide player in the top flight but he makes up for it with so much effort and an eye for goal. I saw him in a pre-season match playing for Plymouth against my Palace team. He ripped Nathaniel Clyne to pieces and I'd never seen Clyney taken to the cleaners. I remembered and when I had the chance to bring some players in at QPR a year later I signed him. Jamie was an important player for us in the Championship-winning season until he suffered a really bad leg break last January. He's shown a great attitude to come back from that. The crowd take to him because of his 100 per cent commitment, and it is great to see him keeping bigger names out of Mark Hughes' starting XI. He's a really good lad. They don't always come out on top so it's good to see this one do so.

He's a throwback in some ways. I found myself on a few occasions asking why he didn't go down in the penalty box when he'd been fouled. He just said: "I don't really know how to, gaffer."

2 Hit the divers where it hurts – with a six-match ban

Unfortunately Jamie is something of a rarity, as we have seen this week, with Manchester United's Ashley Young among the players diving, and Liverpool's Luis Suarez wrongly booked because he has a reputation for doing so.

I still think a six-game retrospective ban for diving will cut it out; fines are no use because money's no problem to Premier League players. I'm always telling my players not to put a foot out because, as Gary Neville said, modern players look for the chance to go down.

I did find it amazing that while Suarez always gets slaughtered, Young didn't get more criticism. He went down with the slightest touch and Lee Mason fell for it. I'd like to know who was the football person on the committee who didn't overturn Shaun Derry's red card. Then Mario Balotelli got off because one of the officials saw his tackle – if that official didn't feel it was a sending off he should have been banned. Poor old Mike Riley, the refs' boss, he would be pulling his hair out if he had any left. It's all contributed to what's probably been as bad a week as we've had for officials. In a job that needs a lot of help, some refs have been fed to the lions by their assistants with some terrible offside decisions hurting clubs such as Wigan and QPR.

3 Martinez is magic ... and I'm backing the Hoops to survive

After his disappointment at Chelsea it was fantastic to see Roberto Martinez's Wigan get maximum points against the champions-elect. They thoroughly deserved it on the night. They and my old club are now favourites to escape. I really fancied QPR strongly on Wednesday as they have the type of players who close teams down and it is difficult for Swansea to play under so much pressure. Last season we beat them 4-0, and earlier this season at Christmas, we got the best of a 1-1 draw in Wales. The suspension of Djibril Cissé may have been a blessing in disguise as it has enabled Mark Hughes to play Mackie and Adel Taarabt at the same time, making his midfield stronger. That should see them through. Today they have a very winnable game against West Bromwich Albion.

4 Jeepers keepers. Nothing is as bad as my time with Blades

I met up with Everton's Phil Jagielka this week and he was really looking forward to this lunchtime's FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool. It's a really big game for both clubs. Winning the trophy could shape the way the successful club progresses for several years.

Liverpool will be playing their third goalkeeper, but Brad Jones has got decent experience and they are not in the dire straits I was eight years ago at Sheffield United. One week we found ourselves without a fit keeper three days before a match at Burnley so we rang round and got two goalies in on loan. We decided to pick whoever performed best in training on the Thursday. One was amazing, stopping everything. His name was Lee Baxter and he was playing in Sweden where his father, Stuart, was a successful manager. We played him. He threw one in to put us behind. We then played really well, went 2-1 up, only for him to throw another one in. Before half-time they scored a penalty to make it 3-2. I pulled Baxter off at half-time and brought on the other keeper, Alan Fettis, a ginger-haired lad from Hull. We didn't concede any more, but we didn't score either so we lost. At the end of the season we missed the play-offs by two points, and Burnley stayed up by two points.

5 Charlie knows his hens – and he'll be rabbiting now

The family have been in Leeds for half-term. They have had a great time with my grandson Charlie. The other night William was showing him a picture book and he pointed at a hen. Charlie chirped up, "cock-a-doodle-do". We all looked at each other as if we didn't believe it, so Will did it again. Charlie again went "cock-a-doodle-do". I imagine he'll be rabbiting on in the next few weeks. When we took Natalie, my eldest daughter, back to the railway station we decided to stop for a cup of coffee and a sandwich. The car park was £4. Sharon said she had loads of change, but it was all 20p pieces. The next minute Amy was feeding a bag full of 20ps into the machine and I'm looking round hoping we don't get spotted. Then she said: "Dad, next time you're fined by the FA why not pay it in 20ps?" I said: "That's not a bad idea, but I don't get fined by the FA any more." "Yeah, right," said William.

William had a session with the academy lads at Leeds. They have a fantastic set-up for kids from six-year-olds onwards. He was there six hours and whenever I looked in the coaching was excellent. They have such patience.

6 Great offer to Snodgrass, but we need other players

I've had a couple of fruitful meetings with the chairman, Ken Bates, this week about next season. When I talk to him it reminds me of all those years ago when he offered me the Chelsea job. He showed me all these plans for Chelsea Village and said "it'll be done in five years". I said to him: "Do you really think I'll still be here in five years?" It all got built and helped Chelsea get where they are now. Ken gets criticised by fans but he has big plans for Leeds and long-term it'll be amazing, but he also realises we need to overhaul the playing squad now to make it successful. He's said he'll do his best to support me in what I want to do.

One development is that we have offered Robert Snodgrass a contract which will make him the best-paid player at the club. I do feel it is important to keep our captain. He's got a year to run but clubs these days can't afford to let a contract run down so I hope he commits for another year. I've told him he'll be in the Premier League at the end of next season whatever happens, as if we don't go up I will make sure that he gets fixed up with a club in the top flight.

He's waiting to see what we do in terms of recruitment and rightly so, but I'm optimistic that we can bring a number of players in as soon as the season ends as we plan for next year. We're at home to Peterborough today and hoping for my first victory at Elland Road since we beat Doncaster Rovers on my first day. Despite that, the support has been fantastic. To a man they all seem to appreciate we need to make changes to the squad. It's great for a manager to get that sort of response from fans and it's why the job is so appealing to me.

7 Give nutcase the boot for upsetting the Boat Race

Why can't we deport that nutter who messed up the Boat Race last weekend? For many of those rowers it was the pinnacle of years of training and for the Oxford crew it was 10 months of work down the pan. As for protesting against elitism, he went to one of the most expensive schools in Australia, then a good university. What's that about pots and kettles?

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
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

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone