Will Vaulks believes Neil Warnock can pull off another great escape at Middlesbrough to set up a nervy penultimate fixture for play-off chasing Cardiff City.
The Wales midfielder was mysteriously under-employed by Warnock after the former Bluebirds boss brought Vaulks to the club exactly one year ago.
Vaulks had thrived under Warnock at Rotherham when they pulled off their own unlikely scramble away from a threatened relegation to League One three years ago.
But the 26-year-old played just three league games under Warnock before the manager was sacked last November and has spoken about the frustration he felt following his £2.1m move.
But that has not influenced his judgement over whether he feels Warnock can keep relegation-threatened Boro in the Championship.
They are currently just above the drop zone by goal difference and host Cardiff on July 18.
Vaulks said of Warnock, “He’s tried and tested in these kind of situations.
“I’m sure he will do well. He is renowned for going into a club and having an immediate impact. I wouldn’t be surprised if he does really well there.”
Vaulks earned a man-of-the-match award for his display in Cardiff’s stunning 2-0 victory over Leeds United last week and is confident the Bluebirds can continue that momentum when they visit Preston tomorrow.
“We back ourselves going into every game. I know we were slight underdogs. Leeds are a very good team and their league position shows that. But we were confident. We were prepared. We stuck to the game plan and got the win I felt we deserved.
“We’ve got another game now that is just as big, if not even bigger, this weekend.”
Cardiff and Preston both have 57 points with eight games remaining.
The Lilywhites have a goal difference of five, edging the Bluebirds by a single goal to currently sit in the play-off spots ahead of Saturday’s clash.
Vaulks added: It’s set to be a great game. I can’t wait for it.
“After one round of games since returning we’ve managed to put ourselves in a good spot. Both teams will be up for it.
“It won’t define the play-off spots this early on but it’ll definitely help the winner.”
Vaulks’ summer plans looked very different before the break in competitive action and lockdown.
“I should’ve got married, and been at EURO 2020 this summer,” he added.
“We were getting married abroad and all weddings were obviously cancelled. For now, we’ve just got to look after each other and remain healthy. And, hopefully I’ll have another opportunity to go to a major tournament.
“It is unprecedented at the moment. I think I was pleasantly surprised with the game on Sunday with how competitive it was from the start.
“Once you cross the line, your only focus is on the game. And against Leeds we managed to do that from the first whistle. We’ve all got to adapt – and so far we’ve adapted well.”