Warnock’s raging turns tide
NEIL Warnock’s Cardiff players gave their manager a birthday to remember – but only after one of the boss’ patented half-time tirades.
The Bluebirds trailed at the break to Norwich thanks to Marco Stiepermann’s superb strike from the edge of the area.
But after the interval, Warnock’s men turned the game on its head thanks to Joe Ralls’ penalty and Junior Hoilett’s strike.
Omar Bogle – brought on at the break – then grabbed a third late on to seal a victory for Cardiff that moves them to within a point of league leaders Wolves, who head to Birmingham on Monday night.
And Warnock, who turned 69 on Friday, admitted his ranting and raving at the break had not been for the faint-hearted.
“The last time I said something like that to players at half-time it was on YouTube so have a look at that for an idea,” he said. “It was a difficult night. I shouldn’t have to go off like that on my birthday!
“With 12 minutes to go to halftime, I turned to Blackie and Ronnie (assistant managers Kevin Blackwell and Ronnie Jepson) and said all we can hope for is getting to half-time at 0-0. Then they went and scored, which made it worse.
“We made changes but I wish we could have used five or six, I would have brought them all on.
“The lads really did me proud second half. We could have scored a few more – but after such an abysmal first half I think anything would have been better really.”
The Canaries were good value for their first-half lead as the home side, without the injured Kenneth Zohore, looked devoid of ideas.
And when the ball came out to the edge of the area following a corner in the 43rd minute, Stiepermann fired in a low shot through a crowd of bodies to put Daniel Farke’s side in front.
Nelson Oliveira then missed a good chance to double their lead before the break and Warnock was forced into action.
Lee Tomlin and Bogle were introduced and almost immediately on the resumption, Cardiff were level.
A corner from the right was headed home by Sol Bamba but, to the consternation of the home crowd, referee Andy Davies had already blown for a penalty for pushing in the area.
Thankfully, Ralls converted and from that moment, there was only going to be one winner.
Joe Bennett rattled the crossbar before Hoilett cut inside from the left and fed Loic Damour. The Frenchman’s shot was partially blocked but Hoilett did well to volley the ball over Angus Gunn and in.
The keeper’s night got worse when he felled Tomlin soon after but this time Gunn called Ralls’ bluff and easily stopped the tame spot-kick.
And there was still time for Bogle to turn home a third for Cardiff and leave Canaries boss Farke spitting feathers.
“In the first half my lads were brilliant, they didn’t give one chance and took the lead with a brilliant goal,” said Farke.
“What happened in the second half was unacceptable, but we have to deal with that.
“No one can tell me why there was a penalty. It’s a foul on my player and we gave a penalty away. Five minutes later they get a free-kick which was never a free-kick. Then they get a second penalty where their striker comes to me after the game and says, ‘I slipped, sorry, but he didn’t touch me’.”
HERE WE GO: Joe Ralls scores Cardiff’s equaliser from the penalty spot and, inset, Omar Bogle clinches victory with the third