War­bur­ton’s magic touch has reaped the re­wards

The Football League Paper - - NEIL WARNOCK -

WHEN Uwe Rosler left Brent­ford to join Wi­gan in De­cem­ber, I’m sure plenty of people shrugged their shoul­ders and thought ‘That’s them done’.

So enor­mous credit must go to Mark War­bur­ton and his play­ers, who clinched au­to­matic pro­mo­tion to the Cham­pi­onship last weekend.

When Mark was ap­pointed ev­ery­body thought ‘Who?’ He was the sport­ing di­rec­tor, a guy no­body had heard of.

But the board ob­vi­ously knew they were on to a good thing and sim­ply wanted some­one who could keep them tick­ing along.

Mark’s come in and done a won­der­ful job in that sense. He didn’t try to rev­o­lu­tionise things. He just kept that fan­tas­tic spirit they al­ready had.

It hasn’t al­ways been straight­for­ward and Ley­ton Ori­ent put up a tremen­dous fight for sec­ond place. But over­all, no­body can deny the Bees de­serve to go up with Wolves.

Well done to the play­ers too.What they went through last sea­son, miss­ing out on pro­mo­tion on the fi­nal day of the sea­son and then los­ing in the play­offs, would have bro­ken an aw­ful lot of people.

I’ve seen plenty of good sides have an aw­ful sea­son on the back of far less. But they re­grouped mag­nif­i­cently and set out de­ter­mined to put it right.

And let me tell you, I think they’re well set to up­set a few people in the Cham­pi­onship. They haven’t got a ton of money but Grif­fin Park is so tight and com­pact and the fans are al­ways right be­hind them.

I re­mem­ber man­ag­ing there in the play-offs with Hud­der­s­field, the year we beat them on penal­ties. It was an ab­so­lutely elec­tric at­mos­phere and if they can recre­ate that on a weekly ba­sis it will in­tim­i­date plenty of teams.

Speak­ing of Uwe, he’s got a tough job at Wi­gan, who are sud­denly start­ing to look very tired.

In the last ten months, the Lat­ics have played in Europe, the Com­mu­nity Shield, the League Cup and reached the semis of the FA Cup.

If they make the play-off fi­nal, it’ll be their 63rd game of the sea­son – or one match ev­ery four-and-a-half days. At this level, that’s an in­cred­i­ble ef­fort.

But it’s left Uwe be­tween the devil and the deep blue sea.When you qual­ify for the play-offs as early as they have, it’s so easy to give one or two play­ers a rest and that’s what he seems to be do­ing.

But in do­ing that, you do risk los­ing mo­men­tum. And that’s some­thing that you def­i­nitely need to have when you go into the play-offs. The year we went up at Hud­der­s­field, we went on a great run in April and I think we crept in on the fi­nal day.We were in much bet­ter form than the teams who’d been tread­ing wa­ter above us.

With one win in four,Wi­gan aren’t in great nick and Uwe will be hop­ing they’ve all got that lit­tle bit left in the tank. I’M sure Gra­ham

to West­ley is dis­ap­pointed

from League see Steve­nage rel­e­gated

about One, but he’ll up.

al­ready be think­ing what’s needed to get them back

this week are any­thing And if his com­ments of the

a com­plete over­haul to go by, that means

he squad. con­tro­ver­sial in what

Gra­ham is some­times con­vic­tion and says, but he says – even if I

it with plenty of feel­ing. And a lot

of the time I agree do think it could have come out

a dif­fer­ent way. hurt­ing, but with

a I’m sure he’ll be

I’m sure sum­mer to re­struc­ture he’ll be con­fi­dent

he can turn things around.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

MAK­ING HIS NAME: Mark War­bur­ton has steered Brent­ford to pro­mo­tion

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