Former Scarborough FC manager Neil Warnock has been appointed as Rotherham United manager for the remainder of the season.
Warnock, a former Millers winger in his playing days in the 70s, finalised personal terms with club officials last night and will meet the players for the first time this morning ahead of Saturday’s Championship encounter with Birmingham City at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
The Yorkshireman, 67, was the favoured choice of the Millers hierarchy in their search for a successor to Neil Redfearn, a former Scarborough FC player and player-boss, following his sacking on Monday afternoon.
The Millers also spoke to ex-Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray, currently coaching at Fulham and former Blackburn Rovers boss and one-time Millers midfielder Gary Bowyer, with the board keen to bring in someone with proven Championship experience for the final 16 games of the campaign.
But the experience of successfully staving off the drop at previous clubs of Warnock, who will be assisted by former Leeds United and Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell, who also played in goal for Warnock as part of the Conference-winning Scarborough FC team in the late 1980s, tipped the scales in his favour.
The pair will take charge in the dug-out on Saturday, with caretaker boss Nicky Eaden having taken training following the axing of Redfearn.
Warnock spent a short spell as interim boss at QPR prior to the appointment of Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink in December.
After leaving the R’s, Warnock said that he saw his future as a ‘Red Adair of football’ with a short-term fire-fighting brief of turning around a club’s fortunes –which is the remit he has been handed at Rotherham.
The Millers dropped into the relegation zone after a morale-sapping 2-1 late loss at relegation rivals Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, with Redfearn paying the price on Monday after a run of just five wins in 21 matches.
But chairman Tony Stewart remains defiant about the club’s chances of securing their second-tier status that they strove so hard to achieve in 2013-14.
He said: “It took us a long time, so we are not going to just walk away; we are going to fight. With the right manager and drive and push, we have got a good team.
“We have changed since the start of the season and there’s some good willing lads and we have seen some good games such as Hull and Brighton.
“We want some more of that at the New York and it starts on Saturday. We think that we have not been pushing above, but below, our weight.”
At Scarborough, Warnock and Paul Evans, his assistant, won the Conference title in 1987, making them the first team to win automatic promotion to the Football League following the abolition of the re-election system. Warnock was manager at Scarborough from 1986 to 1989.