Warnock backs Brexit but urgently needs deals
Neil Warnock declared after this dire stalemate that he “can’t wait” for Brexit. “I think we’ll be far better out of the b----- thing,” he said.
The match, which featured just two shots on target, was not unlike Government withdrawal talks; an angry, uninspired affair with no apparent chance of a breakthrough. And like Theresa May, the Cardiff City manager now needs a major slice of luck this week as he desperately tries to get a deal over the line.
Emiliano Sala, the Nantes striker, is among three transfer targets after Warnock acknowledged his lack of attacking options in this woeful match “stuck out like a sore thumb”. The manager said he was “hopeful” but not utterly confident of completing a trio of signings, having fielded a starting XI of misfits assembled for a total of just £9.5million.
Warnock expressed frustration over this winter’s transfer window, suggesting the club had been used as bait to generate bigger offers elsewhere. However, he reckoned it was greedy agents, rather than anxiety at clubs over Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, that was causing uncertainty in the transfer market.
“Once the country knows what they are doing and the country moves on, I think it will be straightforward,” Warnock said of Brexit.
“They had a referendum and now we see politicians and everyone else trying to put their foot in it with Theresa, instead of getting behind her. Why did we have a referendum in the first b----- place?
“I think we’ll be far better out of the b----- thing. In every aspect. Football-wise as well, absolutely. To hell with the rest of the world.”
Cardiff, who have already missed out on Nathaniel Clyne, failed to hit a shot on target and can count themselves lucky to escape with a point against rock-bottom Huddersfield Town, who were denied a penalty in strange circumstances.
Warnock said: “We’ve got three main targets now, but we thought we had a midfielder signed last week and that fell through. I don’t think you can say anything until they’re actually in your office signing the papers. Agents get a sniff elsewhere, with better deals. That’s the job we’re in at the minute.”
David Wagner, the normally upbeat Huddersfield manager, was furious at a spot-kick about-turn by Lee Mason, the referee, and is starting to lose the faith.
“I said before this game that we had to win it and we haven’t done it,” he said. “Everybody knows what probably was the biggest reason why. The referee’s decision where he gave a penalty which he later decided wasn’t a penalty. After I have seen the video footage, it was a clear pen. Decisions like this decide games, results and table positions, more or less everything.”
Mason had his penalty change of mind 12 minutes from time, having initially pointed to the spot after Florent Hadergjonaj tumbled under pressure from Joe Bennett. The about-turn came after a lengthy chat with linesman Stuart Burt.
Warnock, however, insisted “justice had been done”, claiming his side had missed out on a spot-kick after a clumsy challenge on Junior Hoilett in the first half.
Huddersfield remain eight points adrift of their Welsh relegation rivals. A lack of swagger was apparent from the second minute as a lofted free-kick from the right dropped invitingly for Steve Mounie but he took a stab at thin air.
The home side, having led for just 93 minutes in Premier League matches all season, were equally twitchy and took 10 minutes to get inside Huddersfield’s final third.
The game was brought temporarily to life after 15 minutes when Nathaniel Mendez-laing burst down the right and fired a teasing ball towards the onrushing Hoilett. The attacker appeared to be tripped but Mason ignored penalty appeals.
Unfortunately for both sides, the game declined further in quality and ambition in the second half. Cardiff have become late-show specialists but neither Callum Paterson nor substitute Rhys Healey were able to shoot on target.
Outspoken: Neil Warnock, who later supported Brexit and said ‘To hell with the rest of the world,’ urges on Cardiff on Saturday