Neil Warnock believes “fate” and the chance to write his name into the record books is what has brought him to Cardiff.
The 67-year-old was named as Paul Trollope’s successor on Wednesday, with the Bluebirds becoming the 15th club of his managerial career.
He has guided six of those to promotion and has seven promotions in total on his CV after twice taking Notts County up. It is a record Warnock currently shares with fellow elder statesmen Graham Taylor and Dave Bassett.
The proud Yorkshireman wants the accolade all to himself and thinks Cardiff offers him a good chance to achieve the feat for an eighth time, after turning down Rotherham at the end of last season and missing out on other managerial jobs during the summer.
“I’ve got seven promotions and I can’t tell a lie, I’ve thought I could get that eighth,” Warnock told the club’s official website.
“There were three or four clubs I could’ve gone to over the summer but nothing materialised. Although I was disappointed I’m a big believer in fate and when this (job) cropped up I only had one phone call from (chairman) Mehmet (Dalman) and he told me that I was the club’s number one target. I liked to feel wanted.
“I’ve always liked it here. I’ve always had good banter with the Cardiff people. They’re my type of crowd – blood and guts and all that, which I like – and I know that if I can get it right for them, they’ll get behind me.”
Warnock steered Rotherham away from relegation in the Championship last season. After joining the Millers in February with the club 22nd in the table – Cardiff are currently a place lower – he guided them to safety and nine points clear of the drop with the aid of a 11-game unbeaten run.
His immediate remit is similar but Warnock sees potential in the squad.
“For whatever reason, they haven’t been playing to their potential but I’ve seen these players and I think they are capable of competing with any team in the league,” he said.
“Cardiff last season were hovering around the play-off spots so to be where they are at the moment is very disappointing.
“I enjoy challenges and the challenge at the moment is to get the team higher up the league and then we’ll see how we go.”
Warnock’s first game in charge sees Cardiff host rivals Bristol City on October 14 when the Championship campaign resumes following the international break. Games against Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest, Newcastle and Aston Villa are then on horizon.
“It’s a fantastic game to come into,” said Warnock. “I get some stick at Bristol City but they’ve got one of the best teams they’ve had in years and it will be a cracking local derby. It’s one to whet the appetite.
“There are some mouth-watering games coming up and when I looked at the fixture list, it wasn’t about trepidation, I was looking forward to it.”