Warnock’s de­light as away form fi­nally comes to­gether in stun­ning Blue­birds win

Wales On Sunday - - SPORT - DO­MINIC BOOTH Cardiff City writer do­[email protected]­

N EIL Warnock re­vealed the se­cret be­hind Cardiff City’s dra­matic im­prove­ment away from home that cul­mi­nated with their 1-0 win at Le­ices­ter City.

Af­ter se­cur­ing a point at Crys­tal Palace on Box­ing Day, the Blue­birds snatched all three at the King Power Sta­dium, cour­tesy of Vic­tor Ca­ma­rasa’s stop­page time strike.

A dra­matic game saw Neil Etheridge keep an­other clean sheet af­ter sav­ing his third penalty of the term, this one from James Mad­di­son.

It also prompted ques­tions for Warnock about how his troops have upped their game on the road.

“I think we’re bet­ter or­gan­ised re­ally,” said Warnock.

His side’s vic­tory at Le­ices­ter lifted them to 16th in the ta­ble, four points clear of the drop zone, and marked the end of a bar­ren run on the road; Cardiff’s pre­vi­ous away vic­tory com­ing at Hull on April 28. The Blue­birds con­ceded three goals at West Ham United and Wat­ford at the start of De­cem­ber but have since recorded im­pres­sive shut-outs at Palace and Le­ices­ter, boost­ing their away tally to five points in the process.

“West Ham would have been a dif­fer­ent story if the penalty had gone in,” added Warnock.

“I think we were a bit too neg­a­tive against Wat­ford. And then when we changed the sys­tem at Palace it worked well and to­day it was great to get a clean sheet against a team like Le­ices­ter, who have done well lately.” The veteran boss also hailed the vic­tory as Cardiff’s best since re­turn­ing to the top flight.

It was the Blue­birds’ fifth win of the sea­son as they ended 2018 in style.

“It’s prob­a­bly the best day since we’ve been back in the Premier League,” added Warnock.

“As a man­ager, you live and die by your de­ci­sions, and we needed fresh legs be­cause they gave me ev­ery­thing at Palace. It was just who to leave out and who to bring in. All credit to the lads, I thought to­day we de­served to win. I thought it was our best per­for­mance be­cause we were play­ing a team who were fly­ing, with the last two re­sults they had.

“To com­pete with them and limit them... and if we’d been more pre­cise in the fi­nal third we could have scored two or three.”

So the best per­for­mance of the sea­son?

“Yeah. Be­cause of who we were play­ing,” Warnock con­firmed.

“I’m re­ally proud not just of the boys, but the whole club re­ally. The fans were singing their heads off all day. We’ve im­proved so much since the start of the sea­son.”

Cardiff chief ex­ec­u­tive Ken Choo also re­acted to the vic­tory by pay­ing trib­ute to the Blue­birds sup­port­ers. “What a way to end 2018!” he said. “A big thank you to all our fans for the fan­tas­tic sup­port.

“We’re work­ing in­cred­i­bly hard as a club to give you the best Premier League ex­pe­ri­ence pos­si­ble. Here’s to a great New Year.”

■ Match anal­y­sis: Sports pull­out

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