Neil Warnock has been on the lips of many Reading fans this afternoon after an interview on national radio, with a very mixed reaction.

On Monday, March 14 the veteran manager of over 45 years was talking to Jim White and Simon Jordan on TalkSport when the conversation turned to his future role.

When asked directly by White as to whether he’d have taken the job, his response, was somewhat unexpected.

Reading Chronicle:

Credit: Neil Warnock receiving his marching orders at SCL in 2018 (credit: Luke Adams)


He grinned, and said: “No, Paul [Ince] is doing it now. But at the time, when I saw the manager (Paunovic) had gone, I just thought, what a good club.

"I've always had a right banter with them and their fans. They have always given me stick but I've always enjoyed going there.

"I've been sent off a few times there and had a few fines too!"

To supporters who have been following the club for a reasonable amount of time, the very idea that Warnock could take charge of the Royals would have usually be met with some anger at the sheer suggestion.

From his infamous scuffle with Wally Downes at Sheffield United, to his sending off in the 2-2 draw with his Cardiff City in 2018; Warnock has not been a well-liked individual in Berkshire.

After his red card in the draw, Warnock controversially said: “The fans might have enjoyed it. Someone usually gets sent off when I’m at Reading so it was my turn tonight.

"This is Reading. I’m not going anywhere near their fans!"


However, now four games into Paul Ince’s reign, in which he has won one and lost three, many are already calling for the ‘interim’ to be moved on and the experienced head brought in the rock the boat and lead the club to safety.


"I would rather go down than stay up under Warnock #readingfc

But here we are, years down the line and the Yorkshireman, fresh off of a mid-season departure from play-off chasing Middlesbrough, has said in the past that he will retire at the end of this season, but would be interested in adding to his Football League record of 1,556 professional matches as manager.

Warnock’s record speaks for itself, eight promotions and countless relegation survivals, he was an early front runner for the job before it was given to Ince, and was exactly what was required.

With the club lingering dangerously close to the relegation zone, supporters were crying out for experience and an individual to shake up a dressing room with a “soft underbelly.”

Instead, the club went for a high-profile player, but one which has not managed in eight years.

In fairness to Ince, he did keep Macclesfield Town afloat in League Two against the odds, but this was in 2007 and it is fair to say flattered to deceive at clubs since.

Ultimately, the key to the statement from Warnock is that he is not likely to take the role, with it looking like Ince is here to stay until the end of the season, but the fact that there is such demand for the pantomime villain proves how much trouble the Royals are in, with supporters willing to forgive and forget decades of battles between the club and Mr Warnock.

Having said all of that, there is no doubt he would get a lot out of this team, and it would certainly be an exciting run to the end of the season.