Blades boss loving the big time
By Phil Jackson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Neil Warnock says The Premiership has spawned a more relaxed approach from him.
Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock says he is relishing life in The Premiership, which has spawned a more relaxed approach from him so far.
The Blades boss brought his South Yorkshire outfit into the top flight with a fiery reputation behind him.
But with their first win coming at home against Middlesbrough at the end of September, and a 0-0 draw at Manchester City in the team's last outing, Warnock admits he has had little cause for complaint.
"I'm enjoying it. We looked a Premiership side [against Man City]. I was very proud of that last weekend," he told Sky Sports News.
"I still get mad, at times, about certain situations during a game. There's not been a lot to shout about anyhow. The team have done the talking on the pitch and I'm happy about that."
Everton are the Bramall Lane outfit's next opponents away on Saturday and Warnock expects a tough tie against their experienced Premiership opponents.
"When you've got people like [Andrew] Johnson, [James] Beattie and [Tim] Cahill you know that you're going to have to be on the best form defensive wise," he continued.
"They lost their unbeaten run last week so they'll be desperate to get back to winning ways.
"When we start well and we don't concede an early goal, then we've always got a chance. When we commit suicide like we did against Reading then you have no chance at this level, when you give early goals away.
"You've got to try and instil your own game and I think we can give them a good game."
Warnock's success has been founded on a strong sense of discipline in the squad, and there is no clearer evidence of his strength in commanding respect than the turnaround witnessed in new signing Colin Kazim-Richards.
"Colin has had his critics and he has had some problems but it has not been down to [previous] managers it has been down to himself," Warnock explained.
"We have had one or two, shall we say, fatherly chats and I have been delighted with his response.
"I think this is probably the best thing that has happened to him, coming to me and Sheffield United.
"It is just what he needed because he really was going nowhere. He had a bit of an attitude problem but not now.
"The attitude is confidence and the little bit of arrogance in his play which I don't mind - I think all strikers and good players have that little bit of arrogance and I have encouraged that.
"But Colin knows if he didn't do what I wanted him to do I would probably sell him within a month."
Northern Ireland winger Keith Gillespie is another player who came to the club in disarray.
In contrast to Kazim-Richards, he had already made it into the big time at Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United and Manchester United.
But Gillespie found himself without a club in the summer of 2005 after being released by relegated Leicester City, until Warnock came in and resurrected his career.
"Keith bombed out and no-one wanted him. I think he had a trial at Leeds and they didn't want him and within 90 minutes at Scarborough Reserves - incidentally he was diabolical in the first half - he has got a year's contract and within six weeks I have given him two years because his attitude was outstanding," Warnock added.
"Keith has tremendous ability, he is a team player and plays for his country, but he still needed an arm round the shoulder.
"A lot of people said what problems he had but he has never been a problem for me one bit and I'm delighted to have him on board."