Gaffer is a master at easing pres­sure on team – Hoi­lett

Western Mail - - SPORT - TOM COLEMAN Foot­ball writer tom.coleman@waleson­

JU­NIOR Hoi­lett has cred­ited Neil Warnock’s man-man­age­ment skills as a key fac­tor in help­ing Cardiff City bounce back in the hunt for au­to­matic pro­mo­tion.

The Blue­birds put them­selves ahead of ri­vals Ful­ham and back in the driv­ing seat for that cru­cial sec­ond-place spot in the Cham­pi­onship with a dra­matic late win over Nor­wich City at Car­row Road.

Ken­neth Zo­hore made the break­through from the bench four min­utes from time, be­fore Hoi­lett him­self made sure of the points with a bril­liant vol­ley deep into stop­page time.

The re­sult brings a halt to what’s been a dif­fi­cult re­cent run for the Blue­birds, who were on the end of gut-wrench­ing de­feats at the hands of As­ton Villa and champions-elect Wolves be­fore their re­turn to win­ning ways at Car­row Road.

Hav­ing seen his side over­taken by Ful­ham fol­low­ing a run of just one point form a pos­si­ble nine ahead of the trip to Nor­folk, Warnock ad­mit­ted that pick­ing his play­ers back up and ready to fight again was the big­gest task of the week.

He said on Fri­day: “I think it’s all up­stairs re­ally, per­son­ally. Nearly 100 per cent is up­stairs.

“They know they’ve got abil­ity be­cause we’ve pushed them right to the limit, so it’s all about how you deal with that.

“I think that’s been my big­gest job this week, deal­ing one-on-one with play­ers and try­ing to lift peo­ple who are lit­tle bit down.

“It’s amazing that dif­fer­ent peo­ple have dif­fer­ent prob­lems. I’ve got to be like a Mar­jorie Proops!”

But while he may joke about com­par­isons to one of Britain’s most fa­mous agony aunts, the famed ‘Warnock ef­fect’ is, ac­cord­ing to Hoi­lett, very, very real.

“We were un­lucky against Wolves and As­ton Villa,” Hoi­lett said.

“It was dis­ap­point­ing to lose two on the bounce but ev­ery­one stayed pos­i­tive. We’ve been through a lot this sea­son and the team have stuck to­gether.

“We’re like a fam­ily. “Ev­ery­body sup­ports one an­other so we just stay pos­i­tive and you can see that from our shift.

“The gaffer has been pos­i­tive, re­laxed and re­lieved ten­sion from the play­ers and staff.

“He’s been great.

“To be where we are to­day is a mas­sive bonus com­pared to where we were at this stage last sea­son.”

De­spite be­ing by far one of Cardiff’s best per­form­ers this sea­son, the Cana­dian’s strike on Satur­day was his first since Fe­bru­ary, and he ad­mits he could do with adding more goals to his game.

“I’ve been play­ing well and been con­tribut­ing ei­ther with as­sists or a good shift,” he added.

“I’ve no idea how it took me twelve games to score but I’ll take that as a bonus and look for­ward to the next game.”

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