Neil Warnock says he will ‘probably play the Under-23s’ against Manchester City on Wednesday.
The Cardiff City manager was left raging after his side were beaten by Chelsea in controversial fashion on Sunday, leaving them five points adrift of safety in the Premier League.
The Bluebirds led 1-0 with six minutes left to play but were pegged back when Cesar Azpilicueta, who was standing two yards offside, met Marcos Alonso’s flick-on to head home the equaliser.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek punished Cardiff further in stoppage time, leaving Cardiff to count the cost of assistant referee Eddie Smart’s failure to spot that Azpilicueta was clearly offside.
Warnock blasted Premier League officials as “the worst in the world” and went on to suggest that he may field the kids against Man City ahead of next weekend’s visit to relegation rivals Burnley,
He said: “We keep getting knock-backs. I will probably play the U23s on Wednesday against Manchester City and try to keep it down to 10 or 11.
“It doesn’t matter who you play at the minute, it is who has a flag in his hand and who has a whistle.”
He added: “If I was a Burnley, Southampton or a Brighton fan, they will be absolutely loving it today.
“I’ve had one kick in the teeth after another this season and the players have as well. But we’ve always bounced back. So we’ll probably play the 23s at City and get ready for Burnley.”
Should Warnock play a weakened side against City, it could land Cardiff in trouble with the Premier League and have huge ramifications on the title race.
Liverpool top the table following their dramatic victory over Tottenham on Sunday but City – who have played a game less – will move back on top should they beat Cardiff.
Warnock stood on the pitch crestfallen after the full-time whistle of the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea – staring at the match officials without saying a word.
As well as Azpilicueta’s offside equaliser, Warnock felt that Cardiff should have had two penalties, both for Chelsea players holding Sean Morrison’s shirt at set-pieces.
Antonio Rudiger, Warnock added, should also have been sent off for dragging down Kenneth Zohore with the score at 1-1 and the Cardiff substitute through on goal.
“It’s almost like it’s not who you play, it’s who you get to referee and who is going to have a flag in their hand nowadays, it’s just as important,” Warnock said.
“The best league in the world and probably the worst officials at the minute.
“He (Smart) is saying that Willian blocked his view, but it wasn’t a six inches one. Either side you should be able to see he’s two yards offside.
“It’s soul-destroying really. I can understand why the lads are down.”