Cardiff 1-2 Chelsea: Neil Warnock’s wife supported him PUNCHING officials – ‘if you wanted to thump the referee, I wouldn’t have stopped you’

1 Apr

Neil Warnock has revealed his wife supported him PUNCHING the officials after Cardiff’s ‘unjust’ defeat by Chelsea.

The Bluebirds boss was still fuming when he spoke to talkSPORT on Monday morning, after suffering what he believes to be the latest referee injustice against him in Sunday’s controversial defeat.

Cardiff led the west Londoners 1-0 heading into the final stages of the match – and were good value for their lead – but Warnock was left raging at the officials after Chelsea equalised through a blatantly offside goal.

Chelsea went on to complete a comeback, winning 2-1.

The result leaves Cardiff five points adrift of safety ahead of a crunch basement battle against Burnley on Saturday.

Warnock was furious after Cardiff’s defeat to Chelsea

As well as the offside goal Chelsea scored, Cardiff were denied a couple of relatively clear penalty calls which could have put the Bluebirds in a commanding position.

Warnock was further angered when Antonio Rudiger was shown only a yellow card despite taking down Kenneth Zohore as last man.

At the final whistle, Warnock did as everyone expected and spoke to the officials to express his frustrations – and he told talkSPORT his wife, Sharon, gave him permission to hit the referee and his linesmen.

He said: “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.”

Warnock continued by going on a lengthy rant about the state of officiating in English football, and he called out PGMOL chief Mike Riley over the failures of referees at the highest level.

“I’m obviously gutted,” he added.

“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 lost his temper on the touchline

“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.

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“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.”

Warnock engaged in an intense stand off with the officials, including referee Craig Pawson, after the defeat to Chelsea

Before next weekend’s trip to Burnley, Cardiff host title contenders Manchester City this midweek.

Following his ranting at the officials, Warnock has risked the wrath of the FA by suggesting he will play the kids against Pep Guardiola’s side, to ensure his first XI is fully rested and prepared for the Clarets.

But, speaking on Monday’s Sports Breakfast, Warnock said he could go one step further and leave his team selection up to fate, and that he may not even show up for the game!

“Well, we’re going to put all the names in the hat for that and see who wants to go,” said the Cardiff boss.

“And I’ve told Kevin Blackwell [his assistant coach] that I’ve got the flu coming on.”