Still McNaughton For You Mr Warnock ?
Neil Warnock brings his Leeds United squad to face Cardiff City on Saturday and will pose a very difficult test for Malky Mackay's new look Bluebirds. Clearly Leeds Utd are a big club, and will be looking to wily Warnock to get them promoted - the ex-Sheffield Utd and QPR manager is an expert at that, and knows exactly how to maximise the potential of some mediocre-looking Championship squads.
Warnock has spoken positively in the press this week of Cardiff City's promotion chances this season, but then he always does that! Every year, whichever side he brings - Warnock speaks of our quality, most likely in an attempt to crank up the pressure on City in the hope that we 'do a Cardiff'.
Instead of Warnock's thoughts on the current CCFC crop, his comment below is from way back in November 2010. His pre-match comments were supposed to be about Bellamy, Chopra, Bothroyd and co. but instead Warnock spoke of his respect for another City player:
'Kevin McNaughton. Any team in the Championship would love to sign McNaughton. He`s probably the first name on Dave`s team sheet.'
Clearly, Chopra, Bothroyd and Dqave Jones are gone. Bellamy departed but is now back, though 2 years closer to ending his playing career. I wonder if Warnock still regards McNaughton as the first name on the teamsheet? In reality, he may well be since we have no specialist cover at right-back but the Cardiff City squad has a much stronger look to it than back in November 2010.
Peter Whittingham remains as classy and integral as ever, while Ben Turner, Jordon Mutch and Joe Mason are players who surely have a future in the Premiership either with Cardiff City or elsewhere.
Tommy Smith (who Warnock described as 'fabulous'), Mark Hudson, Matt Connelly and Heidar Helguson are all players who were big players under Warnock at previous clubs while new boys Craig Noone and Nicky Maynard add the much needed pace and creativity we had lacked.
McNaughton is one of Cardiff City's longest serving players, and will be vitally important again this year. Warnock likes to talk about opponents players, hopefully the current Cardiff City crop can prove him right and get what would be a massive three points against Leeds United this weekend.
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