WARNOCK: ‘LET’S MEND PLAYERS’ BRO­KEN HEARTS!’

South Wales Echo - - FRONT PAGE -

CARDIFF City were knocked off top spot in the Cham­pi­onship by Leeds af­ter the Blue­birds were com­pre­hen­sively beaten 3-0 by Pre­ston at Deep­dale on Tues­day night.

Neil Warnock did not hold back in his as­sess­ment of the Blue­birds’ per­for­mance in Lan­cashire.

Be­low is the full tran­script of the man­ager’s post-match in­ter­view...

WHAT WAS YOUR AS­SESS­MENT OF THE GAME?

There’s no ex­cuse be­cause the goals were ter­ri­ble, but we had eight or nine lads not at their game to­day. The trav­el­ling we’ve done since Satur­day – I said to them, with­out it be­ing an ex­cuse – we’ve trav­elled more than any other team .

We got back at 11pm af­ter Ful­ham and had six hours trav­el­ling here so the prepa­ra­tion hasn’t been so good, but I can’t have it as an ex­cuse be­cause we were sec­ond best all night.

But we don’t nor­mally have eight or nine miss­ing like that. If we hadn’t had been un­de­feated I would have made three or four changes, but we were un­de­feated – and you can make changes if you get beat and you get blasted.

But when I looked at them in train­ing I did think I should make changes be­cause they seemed jaded. Hind­sight’s a great thing but you’re a brave man to a side that’s never lost a game – but at least that’s out of the way now and I can make changes when I see fit now.

ANY COM­PLAINTS WITH ANY OF THE GOALS?

No, only the two of them! The first one, Hughill was do­ing it all night, and good luck to him be­cause the ref­eree doesn’t un­der­stand the game in that re­spect and pe­nalises the cen­tre-half.

And the last one, when he sprints at the keeper he’s off­side. It’s dis­ap­point­ing, but we didn’t lose be­cause of the ref­eree, we lost be­cause of three silly goals and I’m dis­ap­pointed at not be­ing at the races.

THEY GOT IN YOUR FACES, DO YOU THINK THAT’S WHAT TEAMS WILL LOOK TO DO?

They’ve done that all the time, they get in your faces here and I’m look­ing for­ward to play­ing them at our place if I’m hon­est. I took a lot of stick on the bench so it will be nice to get them down at our end.

Good luck to them be­cause they’ve been a bit for­tu­nate play­ing t us at this stage – I’m not sure we’ve got two away games to­gether like this again. But it’s not a coin­ci­dence that there’s nine or ten lads not at the races.

CAN YOU PUT YOUR FIN­GER ON WHY THAT WAS?

Ab­so­lutely, they’re knackered. We were tired out and they were bright

and we couldn’t get near them be­cause we didn’t have the en­ergy. We were sec­ond best but there was a rea­son for it and it’s not all down to Pre­ston be­ing good, it was down to us not be­ing at the races.

DOES IT FRUS­TRATE YOU MORE?

It frus­trates me I should have changed three or four, but you don’t do that when you’ve not lost the game. I’ve learned quite a lot tonight about what the lads can do, but we can’t do any­thing about the fix­ture list. It’s dealt us quite a poor hand if I’m hon­est.

I felt for the fans, but thanks to them – the way they clapped us at the end, we know it’s a long way on a Tues­day night and we hadn’t given them all that much to cheer.

THE PLAYERS THREW THEIR SHIRTS INTO THE CROWD IN THE END, DIDN’T THEY?

Yes, we knew didn’t we? The two cen­tre-halves I thought were de­cent, but other than that I was dis­ap­pointed by the other nine.

DO YOU KNOW A LOT ABOUT THIS TEAM AL­READY?

We’ll have a couple of days’ rest and I couldn’t wish for a bet­ter game than Sh­effield Wed­nes­day at home. You’ll not see any lack of en­ergy from us on Satur­day.

ANY IN­JURIES TO WORRY ABOUT?

No, not re­ally. Only bro­ken hearts. Let’s hope they can mend that by Satur­day.

Neil Warnock looks on at Pre­ston

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