MILES BETTER ON THE ROAD
Warnock’s delight as away form finally comes together in stunning Bluebirds win
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