Last Updated: 18/11/19 1:23pm
Neil Harris says he ‘made a mistake’ leaving the club as a player after one month on loan
Cardiff’s new manager Neil Harris says leaving the club as a player after just one month on loan remains his only regret in the sport.
Harris was announced as the Bluebirds boss last week after Neil Warnock left by mutual consent. Harris managed Millwall for four years, winning promotion to the Championship in 2017, but the former striker is remembered in Cardiff for a 2004 loan spell which was cut short.
The 42-year-old told reporters at his first press conference that the move, one that did not go down well with fans at the time, remains a regret.
Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Cardiff and Bristol City
“I’ve gone on record to say I made a mistake not staying here longer,” Harris said on Monday. “I mean that in total respect to Nottingham Forrest.
“I won’t go into detail – I made a family decision at the time for various reasons not to stay.
Charlton vs Cardiff
November 23, 2019, 12:00pm
“It was probably one of the only things I really regret in my footballing career so far, from being a kid at the age of five all the way up to today.
“I left here a long time ago and I knew I had unfinished business coming back one day.”
Harris said he has had a good relationship with his predecessor, and Warnock had been in touch to congratulate him on his appointment.
“He sent me a wonderful text on the weekend,” said Harris. “He was very polite, wished me all the best and that he’d love to have a chat as well.
Harris speaks with Warnock during a game between Millwall and Cardiff in February 2018
“Really nice, shows the quality of the man that I’m following and I look forward to having a catch up with him. “
While Harris is admiring of Warnock, he says he has not modelled himself on the 70-year-old, and is determined to make his own mark in the Welsh capital.
“I don’t think there is a Neil Warnock Mark II,” said the former striker. “He is his own man. I’m respectful towards that, and I’m my own man.
“You can’t change overnight. You have to adapt, you have to try and guide the players, coach the players.
“We can’t go from being Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City into being Manchester City overnight.”
Harris’ first game as Cardiff boss is against Charlton on Saturday, live on Sky Sports
Harris’ appointment was not welcomed by all of Cardiff, with some corners suggesting he is not be up to the task of launching the club back into the Premier League. Harris says he understands why fans may want a more established at the club, but that he’s prepared to go about changing their mind.
“I’m not on social media, but I’m also understanding of how the modern world works. That’s football, I’m a football fan myself,” he added.
“Everybody wants a big name or somebody that’s achieved winning the World Cup or the Premier League and I understand that.
“I’ve come from – no disrespect to Millwall, it’s a wonderful club – I’ve come from a club that’s slightly different to the level Cardiff’s at.
“I have to win people over, and I’m prepared to do that.
“You can’t please all of the people unless you win games of football, and ultimately that’s what it comes down to.”