Warnock relishing Portman Road trip

MILLERS’ manager Neil Warnock is used to stick when travelling the country with his teams.
From his days at Sheffield United to more recent times with Rotherham, Warnock often plays the role of pantomime villain at away grounds up and down the country.
Hillsborough is a ground where he is famed for getting the natives’ backs up but he received a fairly tame response when he snatched all three points there with the Millers earlier this month.
And today's venue Portman Road – the home of Ipswich Town – is another stadium where home fans seem to enjoy the ‘banter’ with Warnock.
Warnock explained the reason why in his pre-match press conference.
He said: “We were losing 1-0 a couple of years ago and the fans were asking me what the score was, so I was holding my hands up to say 1-0 to them.
“They all clapped and laughed and cheered, but then I pointed to my watch to tell them there was still plenty of time left.
“So when we equalised with five minutes to go you can imagine I was very, very happy.
“I ran on the pitch after with my lads and went over to ‘the kop’ as I like to call it at Ipswich, and put two fingers up.
“Not nastily, I did one index finger on each hand for 1-1, I can remember their centre half chasing me and having a go at me.
“I can never forget that I looked round the press conference after the game and there was one of the national papers sat to my left, I think it was DM the capital letters of their newspaper.
“He looked at me and said ‘Well Neil, what was your reason for putting two fingers up?’ and that’s what he wanted, he’s made his story already for Monday.
“I wrote to the local Ipswich paper and I got inundated with letters from their fans saying what great banter it was and how much they enjoyed it and I’ll never forget that.  
“I got so mad with this tabloid guy trying to get a headline and a cheap shot but their fans were fabulous.”
Warnock also revealed that his backroom staff used to have a bet when travelling to Portman Road about what minute the home fans would first call him a ‘rude name’.
“It’s usually in the first minute,” Warnock said, with a grin from ear to ear.
Warnock’s relationship with Ipswich manager and former Barnsley team-mate Mick McCarthy goes back over 40 years.
And the Millers boss revealed his admiration for the job former Wolverhampton Wanderers’ manager McCarthy has done in Suffolk.
He said: “Mick doesn’t get the recognition sometimes, a bit like (Arsenal manager) Arsene Wenger really.
“Their wage bill has been slashed over the last few years and they are self-sufficient now and that’s great.
“Mick has still got a very, very competitive team with Freddy Sears and Murphy up front, as good as anything.
“They’re very solid, which you would expect from Mick’s teams. They’re not like Sheffield Wednesday or whoever, they’re not going to score six goals here and there but they are really tough competitors and very difficult to beat.
“He’s (McCarthy) done well, fans might not appreciate it at times but it’s the Championship and you use your wage bill the best you can.
“For me, he’s done a fabulous job Mick McCarthy, he’s a super manager.
“I’ve a lot of time for Mick, he’s a bit like me really, I suppose it’s our roots up here in the north!”