Not exactly the most bullish of statements from angst ridden Leeds United manager Neil Warnock was it? Where Allardyce was setting a target of 90 points at this stage last season, Warnock is worrying about the quality of the opposition as he says, "“Looking at our fixtures makes you realise how difficult a league this is."
Where Allardyce was bullish from the off, landing Nolan in a stunning £4m deal, Warnock is reduced to hoping the right players will fall into his lap, saying, "We’ve got a lot of work to do. Let’s hope we can get things done.”
Where Allardyce had the full backing of his Board, Warnock is clearly unsure, saying, "I’m going along working as hard as I can now and we know we need players. I think the club know I need help and they are trying to do it. Only time will tell."
Those words "I think the club know I need help" and "Only time will tell" don't inspire confidence do they? Warnock is clearly establishing tacit battle lines with Master Bates. He is worried, worried that his reputation will be soiled through association with a club heading in the wrong direction. Star players will leave in August, if not before, and it seems to be dawning on Warnock that Bates is not minded to shell out money to replace them. As I keep warning, this is heading for a big bust up anytime soon.
Unless the take over happens of course. Then Warnock will be replaced by the new owner's preferred candidate anyway.
And before Leeds fans mouth off abuse, ask yourself, why wasn't Warnock more bullish? Why didn't he say, "The work begins here and now as we build a team to win the division next season"? That's what you guys want to hear isn't it? That's what Captain Snakeinthegrass and company want to hear isn't it? So if Warnock believes it is possible, why doesn't he come out and say it?