(Reuters) – Neil Warnock wants to continue as Cardiff City manager next season and ensure a smooth transition regardless of whether the Welsh club are able to preserve their Premier League status.
Cardiff are currently 18th in the league, five points behind Southampton and Brighton and Hove Albion, with six games left to lift themselves out of the relegation zone.
Warnock, who at 70 is the second oldest manager in the top four divisions of English football, has previously called Cardiff his “farewell club” and remains keen to deliver another memorable season for the supporters.
“Our fans have been amazing… If they weren’t supportive, it wouldn’t be a problem for me walking out,” he told Sky Sports.
“Unless (owner) Vincent (Tan) comes to me and says ‘we’d like a change, Neil, thank you very much’ then there’s no way I am going to walk out on this lot yet.
“I think I owe it to them in the last year of my contract to look forward – whatever division we are in – and take it up towards Christmas and then, the club has got to be looking for a manager. Hopefully I can help them find one.”
Warnock has also had to deal with tragedy this season after new signing Emiliano Sala was killed in a plane crash in January, calling that period the worst week in his 40-year career in football management.
It left Warnock considering his future in the game but the veteran, backed by a record eight promotions with lower division clubs, is now keen on another challenge if Cardiff do get relegated.
“I think if it was with another club, I don’t think I’d want to go back into that situation,” he added.
Warnock, however, was less optimistic about loan players Victor Camarasa and Harry Arter extending their stay if Cardiff go down.
“If we stayed in the Premier League, I think we’d have a good chance of keeping Victor at Cardiff,” Warnock added.
“We will definitely keep Harry if we stayed up. I don’t know if things don’t go right for us.”
Cardiff face a trip to Burnley on Saturday and Brighton three days later.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Keith Weir)