Neil Warnock lamented the “blows and blows” Cardiff have suffered since Christmas, and stressed the pride he has for his players, after a 1-0 defeat against Fulham at Craven Cottage all but condemned his side to relegation.
In a game that lacked quality between the 18th and 19th placed sides, Ryan Babel’s brilliant second-half strike from 25 yards proved to be the decisive stroke of skill in an otherwise error-strewn game to separate the two teams destined for the Championship.
In a magnanimous mood after the game, Warnock lamented the perceived cruel refereeing decisions against the likes of Chelsea a few weeks ago and the tragedy of Emiliano Sala’s death.
“It was always out of our hands. The biggest blow was losing to Chelsea, being five rather than two points behind really killed us. We haven’t had much go our way since Christmas.
“You get what you pay for. The Emiliano tragedy, he could have scored 10 goals since Christmas and that’s what we’ve been lacking. It’s been blow after blow for us.
“[After the game], I just told the players how proud I was. They’ve been kicked in the teeth up and down. We had 10 shots in the last 10 minutes. I don’t think we could have done much more really.”
Warnock also questioned the referee’s decision not to award Cardiff an early penalty when Aleksandar Mitrovic appeared to wrestle with Sean Morrison in the box. However, the 70-year-old did then go on to praise the performance of referee Chris Kavanagh, claiming he was one of the few officials who have got the majority of decisions right.
“I thought he was a good a referee as we’ve had,” Warnock continued. “I think he missed a penalty for Mitrovic on Morrison, but Michael [Oliver] said to me he didn’t think there was enough in it. How will Sean win a header with both hands wrapped around him? I don’t know is the answer to that.”
Warnock now waits on the outcome of Brighton’s game against Newcastle, knowing a win for the Seagulls will confirm relegation.