We can mix it in the Premiership, insists Warnock

May 1, 2006

Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock believes his side will prosper in the Premiership next season.

Neil Warnock
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The Blades are already being tipped for an immediate return to the Coca-Cola Championship but Warnock has other ideas.

The Bramall Lane boss feels there are huge grounds for optimism as the club prepare to return to the top flight after a 12-year exile.

United celebrated their promotion in style yesterday with a 1-0 victory against play-off hopefuls Crystal Palace, courtesy of Chris Morgan's 81st-minute winner.

Warnock said: 'I went to the Liverpool v Aston Villa game on Saturday and I came away thinking that we will score goals in the Premiership.

'I watched Steven Gerrard and when he got the ball I said out loud `he's not going to shoot from there!', and the next second it's in the back of the net.

'You wouldn't think Gerrard is a multi-millionaire who can go to any club because he's so level-headed.

'And that's what this lot are. Phil Jagielka, Michael Tonge and Nick Montgomery; I know all their parents and it's like a family, which makes it even more satisfying.

'In the Premiership you get a little bit more time and we've got the legs and lungs for it.

'I think Danny Webber and Michael Tonge will be two players who everyone will be talking about.

'It's been Jagielka this year but I think people will be surprised with Webber and Tonge.

'And I don't think the defenders in the Premiership will be able to cope with Ade Akinbiyi.'

Warnock, meanwhile, has held talks with plc chairman Kevin McCabe about signing a new contract with his present deal set to expire in the summer.

He has yet to put pen to paper but is already planning for next season with veterans Craig Short and Brian Deane having now retired from the game.

The Blades boss believes he will need a clutch of new players in order to cope with the demands of the Premiership.

Warnock added: 'If we can add four or five signings to the squad then it will be a good summer.

'We're looking at everyone at the moment but it's difficult in England because they're too expensive.

'We've made an offer for one player but they want £5million for him.'