Former Hartlepool United player and Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock to stay for another year with Huddersfield Town

Former Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has committed to another year with Huddersfield Town after saving the Terriers from relegation last season.
Neil Warnock led Huddersfield  out of relegation and has now decided to stay on at the TerriersNeil Warnock led Huddersfield  out of relegation and has now decided to stay on at the Terriers
Neil Warnock led Huddersfield out of relegation and has now decided to stay on at the Terriers

Warnock – a Hartlepool United winger in his playing days – returned to the John Smith’s Stadium for a second spell in charge in February, with Huddersfield staring relegation from the Championship in the face.

The former Middlesbrough boss had just 16 games to turn things around, with the Terriers four points from safety.

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But the 74-year-old and sidekick Ronnie Jepson were able to produce a remarkable run of form with seven wins from those remaining 16 games – including wins over promotion chasing sides such as Sheffield United, Watford, Millwall and victory over former side Middlesbrough.

It was a run of form which meant the Terriers secured their Championship status with a game to spare as they look ahead to another season in the second tier.

And the 2023-24 campaign will be managed by Warnock after he, again, agreed to delay his retirement from football by extending his stay for another season.

Warnock, who has managed the likes of Notts County, Plymouth Argyle, Sheffield United, Leeds United, Crystal Palace and Cardiff City among others throughout over four decades in management, gained promotion with the Terriers during his first spell in charge in 1994-95 and will be looking to establish the club back towards the top end of the division after they

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narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League in 2022.

Supporters made their voices known during the final weeks of the season as they chanted for Warnock to stay for another year – something which chief executive Jake Edwards acknowledged when negotiating with Warnock at the end of the season.

“We’ve heard Town fans loud and clear, both at the Reading game and ever since,” said Edwards following confirmation of Warnock’s stay.

“You all wanted ‘one more year’ under Neil and Ronnie, and this had to be our first order of business as we prepare for the new season.

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“Neil and Ronnie have incredible knowledge and skill as a management team; that was clear in the job they achieved here at the end of last season. They also have an amazing connection with this club and our supporters, which is also so valuable.

“We’re so pleased Neil has agreed to stay on for another season. I know how determined he is to build on the job he’s done last season, and he offers us great experience and stability on the football side as we prepare for the prospective change of ownership.”

Warnock got off to the perfect start when taking back over at the John Smith’s Stadium in February with a come from behind victory over Birmingham City – a fixture he admitted reduced him to tears upon taking his place back in the Huddersfield dug-out.

“I had tears in my eyes before the game,” said Warnock.

“I couldn’t believe that. I came back a few weeks ago and got such a good reception and that was probably one of the reasons I decided to try and help.”

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And Warnock, who was replaced by Chris Wilder at the Riverside following an indifferent start to the 2021-22 campaign having previously saved Boro from relegation when taking

over from Jonathan Woodgate, admits it was always going to be difficult for him to leave the club after the season ended on such a high with survival.

“After having conversations with Jake Edwards, it became obvious that this was going to be a difficult job for me to leave and for anybody new to come into after what we’d built at the end of last season,” said Warnock.

“I’ve agreed to stay on alongside Ronnie and, just as we did when we came back last February, we’re going to try and do the best we can with our squad that we can hopefully make one or two additions to.

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“We’re quietly confident – I know what the club is all about and I have to say, the response I got after those last two games is something I’ve never experienced in my whole life.

“This is now a chance for me to put something back into the club and give us some stability during this transitional period.

“Once I knew that Sharon was okay with me continuing, I’ve been fully concentrating on knuckling down to do the best we can in trying to get this great club up the league.”

It means Warnock will once again take to the touchline around the grounds in the Championship next season – including back at the Riverside.

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Middlesbrough will find out when Warnock will return to Teesside when the EFL releases its 2023-24 fixtures on Thursday, June 22.

Meanwhile Michael Carrick’s side have been credited with an interest in former Everton and Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley as Boro look to build on their play-off semi-final campaign in 2022-23.

Reports from TeamTalk suggest Boro have made an approach for the 29-year-old who spent last season in Ligue 1 with Nice where he scored four goals in 27 appearances following a season-long loan deal with Aston Villa.

However, reports elsewhere suggest an approach for Barkley may be wide of the mark with Boro boss Carrick having already identified his targets for this summer.

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Boro, who recently confirmed the signing of promising 19-year-old forward Daniel Nkrumah from Leyton Orient for an undisclosed fee, have also confirmed they will travel to Valley

Parade to take on League Two side Bradford City as part of their pre-season programme on Wednesday, July 26.