Despite their recent poor run, Middlesbrough are still in the race for the play-offs this season.
With a game in hand over many of the teams above them, Boro are only three points back from sixth-placed Sheffield United and there remains a real positivity surrounding the club despite taking just one point from their last four games.
That is in no small part due to the impact that the appointment of Chris Wilder has had over the past few months and the excitement among the Riverside faithful of what could be achieved under his management.
Boro have certainly passed the eye test under Wilder but today we’re taking a look at the numbers to see how he compares to his predecessor Neil Warnock.
Warnock announced his retirement from management earlier this month, finishing with a record number of EFL promotions under his belt, but it’s fair that things didn’t quite work out during his time at the North East club.
In all, the 73-year-old led Boro in 74 games during his 16-month spell at the helm – 45 more than Wilder has under his belt so far (29).
Of those 74 matches, Warnock won 28 (38%), drew 14 (19%), and lost 32 (43%). There is a clear improvement when you break down the current manager’s 29 games, which have included 15 wins (52%), 5 draws (17%), and 9 losses (31%).
That improvement is also reflected in the two coaches’ points per game ratios, with Wilder (1.72) more impressive than his predecessor (1.34).
During the current manager’s tenure, Boro have been much more effective going forward but slightly less mean defensively – statistics that line up with Warnock’s reputation as a defensively disciplined coach.
In Wilder’s 29 games at the helm, they’ve scored 46 times (at an average of 1.59 per game) and conceded 37 times (1.28).
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Under Warnock, meanwhile, they scored 88 goals in 74 matches (at an average of 1.19 per game) and conceded 93 times (1.26).
The latter’s record seems to highlight a focus on success in the Championship, with Boro winning just one of their four cup games during his time in charge.
Wilder has managed to balance a play-off push with a deep FA Cup run, with three wins from four cup games helping them reach the quarter-finals of the competition via famous victories against Manchester United and Tottenham.
While Warnock is one of the EFL’s great managers and his career deserves respect, the early signs are that Boro made the right call sacking him and bringing in the 54-year-old coach as his replacement.