It's been one year since Cardiff City appointed the greatly-experienced Neil Warnock as their new manager, and what followed that appointment has been nothing short of a year-long success story. Securing a top half finish last season and what now looks like a genuinely realistic promotion push this season, Warnock has made his mark in typical fashion. Here are the key points of his first year that have made him such a success in Wales. When Neil Warnock took over, Cardiff found themselves in...
Securing Top Half Finish
When Neil Warnock took over, Cardiff found themselves in the bottom three showing real signs of a relegation threatened team.
Warnock's instant signings, new tactics and his experience resulted in the Bluebirds securing a top half finish after a 3-0 away win at eventual play-off winners Huddersfield Town on the last day of the season.
A top half finish looked far out of the question when Warnock took over, now looking back the thought will remain what could've happened last season had Warnock been in charge from the opening day.
From bottom three to top half last season, now Warnock has his eyes set on yet another promotion push with arguably his strongest side in his whole career.
Since taking over, Neil Warnock has helped to bring in Sol Bamba, Junior Hoilett, Greg Halford, Danny Ward, Neil Etheridge, Callum Paterson, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Lee Tomlin, Lee Camp and Loic Damour, all for under £5m - evidence of an experienced operator of the transfer market.
Bamba, Etheridge, Hoilett and Mendez-Laing are all regular starters in Cardiff's table topping start to the season.
Players Buying Into His Plans
Since Warnock took over, a player wanting out of Cardiff has yet to occur. Instead players are wanting to join over other Championship clubs and current players are signing new contracts.
Kenneth Zohore, Kadeem Harris, Sean Morrison and Sol Bamba are just some of the players who have extended their contracts since Warnock took charge.
Arguably the most surprising coup was Bruno Ecuele Manga signing a new contract after his last deal expired and Turkish giants Galatasaray had expressed an interest in the Gabonese international.
The Rise of Kenneth Zohore
Zohore arrived from K.V Kortrijk in January 2016 and showed some positive seasons in his first few months which earned him a three year deal in the Welsh capital.
Zohore was far down the pecking order under short term manager Paul Trollope who preferred Frederic Gounongbe and Rickie Lambert. Zohore didn't make an appearance that season until he came off the bench against Wolves in what Warnock has since described as his 'now or never' performance.
An assist against Wolves earned him a starting spot and the Dane hasn't looked back since.
Zohore managed to go on and bag 12 goals that season which made him one of the players to watch this season across the Championship. Still just 23 years old, a proven finisher and all the attributes a striker needs, Premier League interest from Everton and newly promoted Brighton followed, but Zohore remains in Cardiff to the relief of Warnock and fans alike.
Three goals so far this season including a brace in front of the Sky Sports cameras against Leeds is a reminder as to just how deadly he can be despite his early season dip in form.
Since Warnock took charge, Cardiff have had 24 Championship home games stretching back to his first with that 2-1 victory over Bristol City in the Severn-side derby.
In those 23 home games Warnock and Cardiff have won an impressive 14 of them, losing just four times. If Cardiff are to gain promotion under Warnock, this impressive home form needs to continue. Cardiff City Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for many Championship sides of the past few years, so wins over fellow high flyers Leeds United and Sheffield United is exactly what Warnock knows Cardiff will need if they are to have success this season.