Neil Warnock will step down as Huddersfield Town manager after their match against Stoke City on Wednesday evening – but insists he isn’t retiring again.
The Terriers, who sit 17th in the Championship table, announced the 74-year-old will depart his role ‘following extensive discussions’.
Warnock came out of retirement in February to return to Huddersfield 30 years after his first spell at the Yorkshire club started.
Having been seven points adrift of safety in March, Warnock guided the team to survival and then agreed a one-year contract extension in June.
Huddersfield chief executive Jake Edwards said the club is ‘now ready to make a longer-term managerial appointment’ with Warnock and his assistant Ronnie Jepson leaving this week.
Neil Warnock will take charge of his final match as Huddersfield Town manager this Wednesday against Stoke City as he steps down from the role
Warnock celebrates in front of the Huddersfield fans following their recent win at West Brom
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It remains to be seen if Warnock is tempted to take on another job having previously retired from management after 42 years in the dug-out in April 2022.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday afternoon, Warnock insisted he isn’t going to retire officially.
He said: ‘We’ve actually done what we set out to do really.
‘As Jake said, Kevin [Nagle, chairman] has a three-year plan to reach the Premier League.
‘When Dean [Hoyle] brought me back he pleaded for days and days and changed my mind and I said I’d come back and help while I was wanted.
‘Once they told me they wanted to bring someone in… yes, I thought it would be about Christmas time, but once they told me that I think they had to move on quickly.
‘If you’re not wanted you want to go straight away. I don’t mean that how it maybe sounds – we always said we’d be straight with each other and that’s what we’ve done, and Ronnie and I wish them all the best.
‘I’ve told the lads there’s no reason not to push towards the play-offs now.
Huddersfield made it back-to-back victories when they defeated Rotherham on Saturday
‘My health is good, I’ve never felt better! If anything I’ve got the buzz again. I’m sure when February comes round people will be asking me again.
‘I’ve always said to Kevin, it’s his club and that I’d go whenever he wants me to go. I think it was the right thing that I came back, I don’t think it would have helped anyone to come in in pre-season, but we’ve made a lot of progress.
‘I’ve not fallen out with anybody. Jake’s come to me and said they want to move on and management’s the next step. I think management is the biggest decision they have to make really.’
Warnock added: ‘I can’t tell you who the new manager is because they’ve not told me, so I assume it’s someone I don’t like!’
Edwards said the new manager will be confirmed by the end of the week.
He added at the press conference: ‘It was always a short-term engagement and we’ve been very open and honest with our dialogue.
‘We’ve progressed in a number of areas and brought that stability to a level, and that’s thanks to Neil.
Warnock received a standing ovation after Huddersfield beat Sheffield United in May to secure their Championship status
‘We wanted to make the decision from a position of strength, which is unusual. Neil is right, it’s the most important decision we’ll make, and we didn’t want to make it from a position of weakness, when you often make the wrong decision.
‘When the right candidate is available you have to make the decision and we’ve had good grown-up discussions.
‘Neil has poured his heart and soul into this and he’s a winner, but as a club this is the decision we had to make.
‘Neil has got us really well set up. He’s handing the successor a great foundation to build upon.’
Huddersfield started their Championship campaign by losing three of their opening four games, as well as exiting the Carabao Cup to Middlesbrough.
But back-to-back wins over West Bromwich Albion and Rotherham United have put a different complexion on things at the John Smith’s Stadium.
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