Millwall manager Gary Rowett has suggested that he thinks new Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder will be able to do a good job for Boro at the Riverside.
Wilder’s first game in charge of Middlesbrough will see his side take on Millwall at home in a game where they will be aiming to get off to the right sort of start under the former Sheffield United boss.
Boro will be aiming to build on their performance in the 1-1 draw at West Brom that Neil Warnock was able to secure in what proved to be his final game in charge of the club before the international break.
There will need to be more consistency in performances and results for Middlesbrough during the rest of the campaign if they are to make a successful challenge for a top-six finish. That needs to start swiftly and Wilder could see his new side move level on points with 9th place Millwall if they win at the Riverside.
Warnock’s dismal came because Middlesbrough were not able to consistently reach their best performance levels this term and they will have to improve under Wilder to compete with the Lions for a top-six position.
Speaking to News at Den, Rowett suggested that Warnock deserves a lot of credit for what he has achieved in the game and he also believes he could yet return to management. While he also insisted he believes Wilder will perform well in his new role with Boro.
He said: “I’ve got massive respect for both Neil Warnock and Chris Wilder. Neil, firstly, what an incredible achievement so far and it wouldn’t surprise me if he adds to those games.
“He’s always been the type of manager that you can ask for a bit of advice and he always tries to help you if he can. He’s a really good guy.
“Chris is the same. I’ve known him a long time, I’ve met him lots of times as an opposing manager. I think he’ll do a fabulous job there as well.
“It will be interesting to see what they [Boro] do differently.
“They are both top managers at this level certainly.”
Appointing Wilder seems to have been a very strong decision from Middlesbrough’s hierarchy and the expectation will now be that the former Sheffield United boss has his new side right in the mix for the play-offs come the end of the season.
That makes this first game against Millwall a very important one because the Lions under Rowett are showing signs that they will be right up there challenging for the play-offs throughout the campaign. Were Millwall to beat Wilder’s side they would fall six points adrift of them and that would be a lot to make up considering plenty of other sides would also gain more points on Boro as well.
Rowett is right that Wilder has the ability and experience to be an excellent appointment for Boro and you can see him taking his new club on an upward trajectory as he did with Sheffield United. Having said that, it will not be an easy job for him to instantly turn his side into one capable of being in the top-six places.
It would be no surprise to see Warnock return to management once again, as Rowett predicts here as well considering the amount of times he has come out of retirement and taken other EFL jobs.