The Football League Paper - - NEIL WARNOCK -

I WAS tempted to go down the book­ies this week and have a bet on all three East Mid­lands clubs reach­ing the Pre­mier League.

But the way things are go­ing, I don’t think I’d have got great odds. Le­ices­ter, Derby and For­est are all fly­ing.

Le­ices­ter are away and gone at the top and showed an enor­mous amount of char­ac­ter to come back from 2-1 down to For­est with ten men in mid­week.

When you’re a man­ager and you see your team do that away from home, you think ‘We’re go­ing up’. They fell way last year but it won’t hap­pen again.

Derby’s two vic­to­ries this week have put them right back in the mix for au­to­matic pro­mo­tion. Since Steve McClaren came in, they’ve mas­tered the art of win­ning tight matches when they aren’t play­ing well.

That’s the sign of a good side, as was win­ning at Sh­effield Wed­nes­day in mid­week. A cou­ple of months ago, that would have been an easy game. But the Owls are buzzing un­der Stu­art Gray and Derby had to with­stand a lot of pres­sure.

Steve’s also made a great sign­ing in on-loan Chelsea striker Patrick Bam­ford, who won the match with yet an­other world-class strike.

For­est and Billy Davies aren’t pop­u­lar with ev­ery­one, but lis­ten­ing to the in­ter­view with their Kuwaiti owner Fawaz Al-Ha­sawi, I have to say the signs are good.

I’ve worked with good own­ers and bad own­ers, and he seemed gen­uine when he talked about sta­bil­ity and build­ing up the club.

If I was a For­est fan I’d be start­ing to think se­ri­ously of life back in the big time. Even if they don’t make it this sea­son, I think it’s only a mat­ter of time with the fi­nan­cial sup­port AlHa­sawi has com­mit­ted.

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