Wales On Sunday - - SPORT ON SUNDAY -

Warnock has ad­mit­ted beat­ing the very best teams in the Pre­mier League is “a bit be­yond” his side de­spite watch­ing a gal­lant Cardiff City ef­fort in de­feat to Liver­pool.

The Blue­birds en­joyed a pur­ple at An­field dur­ing the sec­ond half in which Cal­lum Pater­son pulled a goal back and the vis­i­tors threat­ened to level.

But ul­ti­mately Liver­pool proved too strong, bring­ing Xher­dan Shaqiri off the bench to put the game be­yond doubt.

The de­feat means Cardiff have played ev­ery one of the league’s top five this sea­son and lost ev­ery on each oc­ca­sion, but Warnock wasn’t too dis­heart­ened.

“It’s good that we can com­pete, we’re not just turn­ing up for these games,” said Warnock.

“We’ll sur­prise a few of the lesser teams. The top four are a bit be­yond us, al­though I was dis­ap­pointed we didn’t beat Arse­nal at home.”

On a day that saw Cardiff’s rel­e­ga­tion ri­vals fail to muster a goal be­tween them, Warnock was keen to look ahead to cru­cial home games against Le­ices­ter and Brighton.

“The rest of the sea­son will be de­cided on what we do in the re­main­ing games away from the top six,” he said.

“We’ve done well lately, we did well against Burn­ley, Tot­ten­ham away and Ful­ham last week.

“We’ve played all the top teams now apart from Man United and we haven’t re­ally been pasted. But you don’t get them ev­ery week, the top five.

“It’s been hard for us against these teams. That lit­tle bit of qual­ity catches you out and makes the dif­fer­ence.”

Warnock con­firmed he re­moved Josh Mur­phy as a mere pre­cau­tion with a view to those two up­com­ing home fix­tures, so too Aron Gun­nars­son.

Harry Arter was omit­ted from the match­day squad for the same rea­son af­ter car­ry­ing a slight knock, though Warnock was also con­cerned the tough-tack­ling mid­field man could pick up a fifth yel­low card - and a sus­pen­sion - at An­field.

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