Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Alan Green: O’Neill’s rise had hand in Warnock’s fall

Martin O’Neill may not know it and he certainly shouldn’t feel any guilt about it, but I think he had a pivotal role in Queens Park Rangers’ decision to sack Neil Warnock.

QPR owner and chairman Tony Fernandes said there’d been “an alarming slip down the table” following eight Premier League games without a win.

True. Rangers lie 17th just outside the relegation positions, but I can’t believe there’d be such a rush for judgment if O’Neill, having succeeded Steve Bruce at Sunderland, hadn’t brought about such a transformation in the Black Cats’ fortunes.

Sunderland have taken 13 points from their last six league games as well as beating Peterborough in what, beforehand, looked a tricky FA Cup clash.

The boost in confidence that O’Neill has brought is working wonders.

And that’s what Rangers seek as well.

If they choose Warnock’s successor wisely, that may happen but I can’t help but feel sorry for Warnock — I’m in a minority here — who’d taken them to promotion and deserved his late ‘place in the sun’ of the Premier League.