FOOTBALL hasn’t seen the last of Neil Warnock.
That’s the view of Andy Booth, who played under him in the Town side which won promotion from League I in 1995.
Warnock was axed by QPR, the ninth senior club he has managed, on Sunday, with Mark Hughes tipped to come in at Loftus Road – he will be at the club for talks today.
And at 63, some are suggesting the Sheffield-born ex-Scarborough, Notts County, Plymouth, Oldham, Bury, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace chief will call it a day.
However Town ambassador Booth, who scored at Wembley as Warnock led the club to a 2-1 win over Bristol Rovers in the play-off final, believes he will be back.
“He’ll probably have a few months out of the game to recharge the batteries,” said Booth, who scored 26 league goals and 30 in all during that promotion campaign.
“But I think he’ll fancy another challenge somewhere, and I think there will be a club who will want him, because he’s a top operator.
“You only have to look at his record of winning promotions over the years and the way he turned things around at QPR, who were in danger of relegation from the Championship when he took over (in March 2010).
“He ended a long wait by taking them into the Premier League, and although they’ve had a bad run of late, I think that given the chance to bring some players in this month, he would have kept them up, which at this stage of their development is the target.
“Don’t forget there was a lot of disarray behind the scenes at QPR during the close-season, and he was left to throw together a squad at the last minute.”
Booth continued: “Neil and I go back a long way, and while I made my Town debut before he took over, I owe him a lot because he put me in the side and stuck with me while I was still learning the ropes.
“He knows what components are needed in a successful side and is able to put them together, and he’s a tremendous motivator who can get everyone playing for him.
“I can’t believe that there won’t be a chairman looking for a manager like that over the coming months.”
Warnock, seven times a promotion-winning manager, worked with Mick Jones, his right-hand man at Town, at QPR and also had ex-Town striker and assistant manager Ronnie Jepson in his management team.
Ex-Wales, Blackburn and Manchester City boss Hughes, 48, was in charge at Fulham before leaving in June and has been out of the game since then.
QPR chief executive Philip Beard hopes to have a new manager in place before Sunday’s Premier League game at Newcastle but is remaining tight-lipped about prospective candidates.
Beard said “I can’t confirm anything, what I can tell every QPR fan is that we’re working extremely hard to bring in the right person to build some stability at the club and then build for the future.
“We’ve talked to a lot of people in the game. We’ve got to get the decision absolutely right.
“We’ve been working very, very hard in the last 48 hours to make sure that we can put in place a structure that we feel can deliver success, hopefully for this season but certainly beyond.
“I’m hoping that in advance of our important game against Newcastle on Sunday we will have somebody in place to be up there.”
QPR, who needed a late leveller to deny Town’s League I rivals MK Dons an FA Cup third-round win on Saturday, are 17th in the Premier League, a point above the drop zone.