CARDIFF boss Neil Warnock has revealed even his wife would have had no problem with him “thumping” the match officials yesterday.
The Bluebirds boss was still fuming today after suffering what he believes to be the latest referee injustice against him in Sunday’s controversial defeat to Chelsea.
His side led the West Londoners until six minutes from time – but he was raging after an equaliser arrived through a blatantly offside goal.
But the offside decision was not the only one to irk Warnock, with his team denied several penalties before he was angered further when Antonio Rudiger was shown only a yellow card despite taking down Kenneth Zohore as last man moments before the last-ditch winner.
Warnock marched on to the pitch after the whistle, and despite his wife Sharon giving him permission, the irate manager restrained himself to just verbal punches.
He told talkSPORT today: When I came in yesterday, my wife said to me: ‘darling, if you had wanted to thump the referee and linesman, I wouldn’t have stopped you’. It was so unjust.”
He continued on a lengthy rant about the state of officiating in English football before hitting out at PGMOL chief Mike Riley.
Warnock said: “I’m obviously gutted. You could imagine what the dressing room was like. We played so well and I’m really proud of them, but once again we’ve been kicked in the teeth.
“We’ve worked our socks off for three weeks to get where we were, because we thought we could beat Chelsea and we did everything right, but then a human error like this?
“It’s just… well it’s unbelievable. I can’t describe my feelings.
“That could be the decision that costs us everything, because I thought we could put pressure on the other clubs, but now we’re battling against the odds again.
“I thought we had some major decisions [go against us] yesterday.”
Warnock continued: “The linesman yesterday said sorry to me after the game, but it’s too late, what good is an apology?!
“We’re having too many honest mistakes and it’s always the top teams who get the decisions. You just feel it’s such an injustice, and I’ve felt like that ever since Christmas.
“You almost begin to think, is it me? Is it payback time for all the years I’ve shouted at referees? Have they all got together now and said, ‘let’s get him out of this place’?
“I used to think that about one or two refs, but when I speak to them they’re not like that and I know they’re not like that.
“I just don’t think they’re educated enough at the top level. I don’t think things will change now until Mike Riley goes, which is very unlikely because he’s got himself rooted so far in.
“They should have better coaching. Mike Riley is in charge of referees but as a referee he was like a robot, he had no feelings and he didn’t know anything about the game.
“Like Bill Shankly used to say: ‘You know the law but you don’t know the game’.
“That’s how Mike Riley was, and he’s training all his referees now. They’re all the same, they’re trying to be robots.”
Before the six-pointer with relegation rivals Burnley, Cardiff face the daunting prospect of Manchester City coming to town.
And when discussing his team selection, he hinted he could field the kids in order to save his stars for the Clarets – and he might not even show up himself.
Warnock added: “Well, we’re going to put all the names in the hat for that and see who wants to go.
“And I’ve told Kevin Blackwell [his assistant coach] that I’ve got the flu coming on.”