The return of Mr.Warnock

Last updated : 19 December 2008 By Jamie Furniss

Sheffield United supporter Neil Warnock returns to his beloved ground Bramall Lane on Saturday looking to haunt the Blades for a second time in a row.

The Blades appointed him in 1999 where he took over from Adrian Heath. United were threatened with relegation but Neil saved our blushes and secured survival.

The following season saw Neil take charge in his first full season as Blades manager. After a relegation dogfight in the previous season, the outfit from Bramall Lane were play-off contenders a season later. Unfortunately the Blades finished a resounding 10th.

In the 2001/2002 campaign, 'The Battle of Bramall Lane' occurred where United had three players dismissed and two players injured. With Warnock using all of his substitutes it left the Blades with only 6 players on the field. The match was later abandoned with the Baggies leading 3:0.

The Blades reached two cup semi-finals in the 2002/2003 season. Knocking fierce rivals Leeds United out of both the FA and League Cup's, United exited the competitions after losing to Premier League outfits Arsenal and Liverpool. A play-off final rounded off a fabulous season for United but they couldn't reach the promise land when they fell to a 3:0 loss at the Millenium Stadium.

With United amongst the play-offs all season long in the 2003/2004 campaign, they dropped away right at the death. They continued to stride in the Cup competitions though, as a quarter-final defeat to Arsenal on penalties ended United's hopes of reaching the semi-finals in two consecutive seasons.

Warnock then brought in a trio of Wednesday players the season later. Leigh Bromby, Alan Quinn and Derek Geary all moved from S6 to S2. The club fell short of a play-off place for the second season running.

United were crowned runners-up in the 2005/2006 where a total tally of 90 points see the Blades secure promotion to the top flight. A double over Sheffield Wednesday in the process put the icing on the cake for the Unitedites.

Impressive victories against Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Watford (2), Wigan, Arsenal, Fulham, Tottenham and West Ham weren't enough for the Blades to survive in the top flight when they were relegated on the final day versus whom resigned as manager of SUFC.