Neil Warnock has urged his Middlesbrough team to try “twice as hard” against Sheffield Wednesday this weekend.
Boro could relegate the Owls from the Championship if they beat them on Saturday. And Derby County win at home against Birmingham City.
As a boyhood Sheffield United fan and former manager, Warnock didn’t miss the opportunity to wind up their rivals.
The 72-year-old was speaking after his side came from behind to beat fellow strugglers Rotherham United on Wednesday.
Warnock also managed Rotherham, guiding them to safety after an 11-game unbeaten run in 2016.
“I am happy we have got the points, but disappointed as it is Rotherham, if I am honest, as I want to see them stay up,” he was quoted by The Sheffield Star.
“So I said to the lads that I want us to try twice as hard on Saturday, being a Unitedite.”
Blades ready to face Neil Warnock and Middlesbrough
Before Chris Wilder achieved the feat in 2019, Warnock was the last manager to get United promoted to the Premier League.
They spent one season there in 2006/07, before ending his eight-year spell at Bramall Lane following their relegation.
The Blades have faced Warnock on a few occasions since. Including when he was in charge at Crystal Palace and Cardiff City.
With their relegation from the top flight this time around having been confirmed, there will be another reunion.
Warnock has agreed to stay at the Riverside Stadium until the end of the 2021/22 campaign after signing a contract extension.
Paddy Kenny, who played under him for the Blades, has even made a bold claim about his former boss.
“Someone who has got a good track record, who’s got promotions under his belt already, that’s exactly what they need,” Kenny told Football Insider about who should succeed Chris Wilder.
“Someone like Neil Warnock, another Chris Wilder-type manager who can motivate people.
“You can never say never with Neil. Sheffield United need someone like him who has been there, done that and bought the t-shirt.”