Neil Harris outlines intentions after being unveiled as new Cardiff City manager

Former Millwall manager says he is not a Neil Warnock mark II

Neil Harris in the dugout at Milwall. Image: BillyBatty
Neil Harris in the dugout at Milwall. Image: BillyBatty

by Jordan Jones

NEWLY-appointed Cardiff City manager Neil Harris says he is not the same as his predecessor Neil Warnock.

Harris returns to football management after a brief sabbatical having left his post as Millwall manager – a role he held for four years – in September.

The 42-year-old has taken the reins at the Cardiff City Stadium following Warnock’s shock departure last week.

Warnock managed Cardiff for three years, guiding them to automatic promotion in 2017-18. His spell as Cardiff boss was brought to an end after he resigned following a poor start to the season.

“I’m a different person to Neil, younger and a different way of working,” said Harris.

“How I’ve come through as a coach I want to stick to some of them. I don’t think there is a Neil Warnock mark II.

“I will be respectful to the players I’ve got. There has to be a process of change, it won’t be overnight.

“I want to adjust the mindset of the players, not just one style of play.”

And Harris, who has played and managed against Warnock before, revealed he had got the 70-year-old’s blessing to fill the void.

“I’ve had a very good relationship with Neil and he sent me a wonderful text on the weekend and I’ll speak to him soon,” revealed Harris.

“He wished me all the best and that we’d have to have a chat. Shows the quality of the man.”

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The appointment of Harris was met with a mixed reception from the Bluebirds faithful. Chris Hughton and Charlton boss Lee Bowyer were the other reported candidates, whilst former Stoke City boss Tony Pulis rejected the role according to The Sun.

“I’m not on social media, but I’m also understanding. I know how football works, everyone wants a big name and someone who has won the World Cup.

“No disrespect to Millwall, I’ve come from a club at a different level to what Cardiff is at. I will always do my best for Cardiff City.”

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Harris – the overwhelming favourite with the bookies – gave an indication of what the fans can expect during his time in charge.

His reign begins with a return to south east London with the Bluebirds facing Charlton Athletic at The Valley on November 23.

“My pride in doing my job, work ethic and I am demanding.

“I can’t promise the fans I will win the next six games. But there will be a hunger and a work ethic.

“My ethos as a person and with way I bring my children up will have to transpire into the team.

“They will play the way I play the game.

“I have huge energy. It’s a wonderful club. I’ve loved every time I’ve played at Cardiff City. I like to win and that’s important to me.

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Harris scored over 150 goals in a prolific playing career, and the new Bluebirds boss previously spent a month on loan with the club in 2004.

He moved on quickly from his time in south Wales, joining Nottingham Forest on a permanent transfer but admitted it was a mistake to leave Cardiff.

“I had a wonderful time. It’s been reported and I’ve gone on record to saying I made a mistake.

“I had a month here and played with some wonderful people, Kav and Peter Thorne and at the time I made a family decision for various reasons. My time here, the fans were brilliant.”