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Roker Roundup: Neil Warnock calls not becoming Sunderland manager his ‘biggest regret’

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“That’s probably the biggest regret I’ve had in my career” - Boro boss Neil Warnock wishes that he had taken the Sunderland manager’s job when he had the chance!

Sunderland v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Sunderland AFC/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Boro manager on the biggest regret of his career

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock will take charge of his 1,500th game as manager at the weekend as Barnsley travel to the Riverside Stadium in the Championship.

Warnock, who recently recovered from Covid-19, has been talking with the Press Association about the biggest regret of his career, not taking the manager’s job at Sunderland.

The 71-year-old revealed that he had been offered the job by Bob Murray during the 1991-92 season, when Malcom Crosby was in charge, but decided he did not want to step on Crosby’s toes, only for the caretaker manager to take Sunderland to the FA Cup Final!

That’s probably the biggest regret I’ve had in my career, not going there at the right time. I think that would have been the right time.

But there again, I played football with Malcolm Crosby at Aldershot and he was a lovely lad and I didn’t want to jump on his toes.

I remember saying to Bob, ‘Wait until you get knocked out of the FA Cup and I’ll come’, and they ended up at bloody Wembley! It must have been fate, that.

Sunderland v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Sunderland AFC/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Collins discuss Diouf’s knife fight

Danny Collins appeared on the most recent edition of the Undr The Cosh podcast and during the interview gave more details on former Sunderland striker El-Hadji Diouf pulling a knife on Anton Ferdinand.

Collins explained that in the wake of a home win over Blackburn, Diouf was disappointed not to be involved from the bench and brought it up to then manager Ricky Sbragia.

Ferdinand told the Senegalese international that he should save that conversation for Monday morning with the players celebrating an important win, only for Diouf to pull out a butter knife:

We beat Blackburn at home, Dioufy had been on the bench and he didn’t get on.

We’d won so we’d come into the changing room all upbeat and having a bit of a craic and Dioufy had just come out with something to Ricky [Sbragia] as if to say ‘if you don’t want me here, let me go’.

Anton was sitting just over here, Anton Ferdinand, and he had a bit of a word with him saying “Dioufy, it’s not the time and the place, we had a good win, if you want to speak to the gaffer, go and see him on Monday morning”.

I thought that was the end of that.

We’ve got the changing rooms and then we’ve got a warm-up area, it’s got astroturf and that’s where we have the food after the game.

The next minute, I just remember taking my boots off, my gear and that, I looked up and then Anton and Dioufy are sort of squaring up.

I think it was Cleggy [Michael Clegg] who was the fitness guy, sort of stood between them, Dioufy’s got a f*****g butter knife in his hand! Pulled it out of his sock or something.

I thought ‘what’s going on here?’. They’ve had a set-to in the back room and Dioufy’s tried to shank him, Dioufy started shanking with a lurpak knife in that room!

It was just bizarre.

So that was that on the Saturday, they got all separated.

That is not the end of it however as the next day, with the players at the Academy of Light ahead of a midweek game, Diouf appears with two sets of boxing gloves, intent on fighting Ferdinand:

We were in on the Sunday, the next day, we were in because we had a game on the Tuesday night I think, I remember being in the changing rooms, Dioufy’s walked in and he’s not come into the changing rooms, he’s took a left and gone to the gym.

Comes back down the corridor with two sets of boxing gloves, he walks over to Anton’s locker, puts a set of boxing gloves down next to Anton’s locker and one next to his.

He sat in the corner, the lads are looking at him, he’s gone:

I’ve not come to train today. I’ve come to fight him. Me and him, we’re going to have a fight this morning.

The lads are like ‘what the f**k is going on here?’

He [Ferdinand] wasn’t in yet or I think he was in the treatment room but he wasn’t in the changing rooms.

I remember Anton walking through and the lads are like ‘what’s happening here, Anton? He wants to have a bit of a scuffle with you’. Anton’s palming it away and the lads are like ‘your arse has dropped out, you’ve shit yourself’ type of thing.

That was the end of Dioufy, he was gone a couple of weeks later.

You can listen to the full podcast with Danny Collins by becoming a patron of Undr The Cosh on Patreon by clicking HERE.

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Sartori takes Sunderland call

There was a 13-hour debate in the Uruguayan senate yesterday, as they decided against stripping former Senator Guido Manini Rios of immunity.

The Senate voted 16-15 against stripping Rios of his immunity, relating to a potential prosecution regarding human rights abuses during his four-year stint as commander of the Uruguayan Army.

Obviously an important debate but El Observador point out that Sunderland shareholder Juan Sartori was one of the most restless senators and at one point had to step out of the proceedings to take a phone call which he explained to the newspaper were for “Sunderland things”.

Although no further details were given, that could potentially be intriguing considering Sartori’s hands-off approach to his Sunderland investment.

Sunderland v Charlton Athletic - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images