GARY Rowett paid tribute to Neil Warnock as Millwall prepare to face a Middlesbrough side under their new manager Chris Wilder next Saturday.
Wilder took over after Warnock left following the 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion before the international break.
Warnock broke the record for most professional games managed in English football when he took charge of his 1,602 match, against Luton this month, to overtake Dario Gradi’s total.
After that game, Warnock said: “I can’t see something like this being beaten. In another 16-17 games, it will be the most Football League games. Hopefully I can keep my job a bit longer.”
But Warnock, 72, was informed after his 1,603rd game that Boro – who are 14th – would be looking for a new manager. “I am disappointed how it’s ended up but nothing surprises me really,” he said.
“I found out this morning with a call to say they were going in a different direction. I felt I deserved a bit more than that. But it’s not to be. I wish them all the best. Whoever comes in will get a great set of lads and some support in the transfer window.”
Wilder was last in charge of Sheffield United whom he led from League One to the Premier League. He was sacked last March with the Blades bottom of the table in their second season in the top flight.
In Rowett’s last meeting with Warnock’s side, Millwall beat Boro 1-0 last March. Rowett’s last meeting against a Wilder team was Stoke’s 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane in October 2018.
Rowett gave his reaction to the managerial change at Boro.
“I’ve got massive respect for both Neil Warnock and Chris Wilder,” he told NewsAtDen. “Neil, firstly, what an incredible achievement so far and it wouldn’t surprise me if he adds to those games.
“He’s always been the type of manager that you can ask for a bit of advice and he always tries to help you if he can. He’s a really good guy.
“Chris is the same. I’ve known him a long time, I’ve met him lots of times as an opposing manager. I think he’ll do a fabulous job there as well.
“It will be interesting to see what they [Boro] do differently.
“They are both top managers at this level certainly.”
Image: Millwall FC