Harris looks a good fit for Cardiff City post
Neil Harris looks like being a shrewd appointment by Cardiff City after he was drafted into replace the outgoing Neil Warnock at the Championship outfit.
The Bluebirds were rocked by the decision of 70-year-old Warnock to step down on Monday after last Sunday’s 1-0 derby defeat against Bristol City left them 14th in the table.
Just one win in six games convinced Warnock that the club required a fresh approach if they were going to have any chance of making an immediate return to the Premier League in 2020.
Cardiff are 10 points off an automatic promotion place and seven behind the final play-off place so need to start picking up wins quickly.
The majority of fans appeared keen on Chris Hughton, Gareth Ainsworth, Lee Bowyer or Michael Flynn being installed as the new boss.
But with Hughton previously stating that he is keen to take on a Premier League job and the other three employed by Wycombe, Charlton and Newport respectively, Harris was the best option available.
The 42-year-old left Millwall in early October after four years in charge, where he secured promotion to the Championship in 2017 and almost guided the Lions to a play-off place the following year.
Harris successfully staved off relegation last term and the side made a reasonable start to this season before he opted to step down.
Many City fans could be underwhelmed at seeing the news that Harris has signed a three-year deal at the club, but the former loan man does have some positive attributes.
While he is still relatively young, he has vast knowledge of the Championship and is used to operating with a budget far below what he can expect to have at his disposal in South Wales.
Having had Millwall punching above their weight on a shoestring, there is scope for him to enjoy success if he has some funds made available at Cardiff.
Harris made Millwall consistently hard to beat when they finished eighth in 2017-18, with the Londoners going on an 18-match unbeaten run in the second half of the season.
A repeat of that at the Cardiff City Stadium would almost certainly leave the side battling it out in the top six.
With funds low at Millwall, Harris was no stranger to giving the youth players a chance to shine, with the likes Aiden O’Brien and Ben Thompson coming through the academy and becoming key first-teamers.
With Ciaran Brown, Cameron Coxe and Aaron Bolger on the fringes of the Cardiff first team, there will be hope that Harris can do likewise in Wales and help the young trio push on under his leadership.
Harris will take charge of his first game on November 23 when Cardiff travel to Charlton.
Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.