Club legend backs Derby for promotion; Warnock out of the running? Cites 'critical' fans

Neil Warnock Runs Onto The Pitch

Stephen Pickering gives his opinion on the top news stories of the day in the Football League. Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday feature.

Derby County were the headliners in an eventful busy Saturday Championship schedule. The Sky cameras caught Steve McClaren's men dominate a 6th place Blackpool side in a 5-1 win, which saw them cement a 4th place spot for another week.

The big news was that club legend Igor Stimac was in town and had a lot of praise for the current set up at the iPro stadium, backing the side for promotion. 

''Are we going to get promotion this season or the next one? I don't know but we're going to get it.

''Steve can bring the club the necessary points which will take us back to the Premier League.

''But I wouldn't put pressure on the shoulders of the players, because there are many young players in the squad and they don't need that.

''They have to take the season game by game and see where it goes.'

I have to say watching Derby today enjoying complete control against a side that will also be up there at the end the season was impressive. An early Blackpool goal and a series of missed chances didn't deter their persistence, as they netted 5 goals in the second half.

They were statistically on the day were the most impressive side in the country, registering:

72% possession
19 shots
88% pass success rate
606 passes

I can't see any reason why Derby would fall away with such momentum and have many favourable fixtures coming up in their Christmas run up, they could be top two by the time 2014 embarks. 

Another major story in the Championship today was former Leeds United manager Neil Warnock revealing that he was 'so close to being Owls manager'.

It seems that the managerial decision at Wednesday may be put on hold as the favourite for the job Neil Warnock explained:

''Stuart Gray steered Wednesday to a terrific win and that gave myself an Milan a bit more time to step back and look at the situation.

''While there had been some supportive fans there were also some noisy, critical ones.

''Sky Sports rounded up some outside the ground. It made good TV, I guess, thought they would have had better analysis speaking to people at the Sheffield Star or Radio Sheffield'.' 

It sounds like the 65-year-old has been taken back by the critical fans that voiced their displeasure of his impending appointment and has put himself out of the running.

If true, I believe it's definitely for the best - when a club is in disarray like Wednesday currently are, the last thing you need is another spanner in the works.

Appointing Neil Warnock would have undoubtedly split fans and would have only been brought a negative buzz around the club. He wouldn't have been a long-term option and would have just been looking for a last paycheck.

A situation that was best diverted. 

Did Warnock make the right decision to walk away? Are Derby automatic promotion contenders?

image: © joncandy

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