Ex-Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock thanked for Southampton advice that proved 'right'

Former Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock has been thanked for his Southampton advice that boss Russell Martin said proved right.

Southampton endured a disappointing end to the season as their automatic promotion charge ended early as they won only two of their next eight games after Boro went to St Mary's on Good Friday and earned a late draw. The low point of that run came as they lost 5-0 against champions-elect Leicester City.

Preparing for a play-off campaign and at risk of heading into them in a really low mood, Warnock had told Martin he should take his side out for a Chinese meal after the Leicester defeat. And though they lost their next game against Stoke City, the Saints boss admits he heeded Warnock's advice and got the desired reaction, with his side ending the season with a morale-boosting win over promotion rivals Leeds United on the final day of the season.

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Martin said: “I think when someone as wise and as experienced as Neil Warnock tells me to take the team out for a meal I think he’s spot on. It was a nice meal but it wasn’t a Chinese, it was a little bit healthier than that!

“I thank him for that advice. He was right that the players, after such an intense schedule, just needed it. The staff too. We were all together with the owners and the executive team here. We worked hard in the morning and had some food. We spent some time together and set the stall out for what’s to come. I think it was good advice and we took it.”

After ending their regular campaign with the victory at Elland Road, Southampton now head into a two-legged play-off semi-final with West Brom where the winner will head to Wembley at the end of the month to take on the winner of the other tie between Leeds United and Norwich City.