Neil Warnock rues missed opportunities as Cardiff lose to Burnley

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Not happen: Tony Warnock (centre)

Neil Warnock complained football was a “cruel game” after his Cardiff side suffered a fourth straight Premier League defeat to Burnley.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Sam Vokes were on target in the second half as Burnley scored with their only two shots on target.

Josh Murphy, with his first goal since making an £11million summer switch from Norwich, replied in between, but Cardiff could not make their pressure count.

“It’s a cruel game, but I cannot fault the effort,” Cardiff boss Warnock said.

“I am disappointed again to only concede from the two efforts they got.

“It epitomised the whole game that (Burnley goalkeeper) Joe Hart got the man of the match award.

“Even I was clapping his save from Murphy in the second half (when the score was 1-1).”

Cardiff have taken only two points from seven games following their surprise promotion from the Championship last season.

The Bluebirds are already three points from safety, and with away trips to Tottenham and Liverpool to come in October it is not going to get any easier.

“We cannot get so much more out of them,” admitted Warnock.

“I was disappointed with both goals, but I thought we could have taken more of our opportunities.

“That little bit of finishing is what you pay for. We are just lacking that little bit in a certain area.”

Burnley moved up five places to 12th after backing up last weekend’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth.

Gudmundsson put them ahead after 51 minutes before Vokes, making his 100th Premier League appearance, restored their lead with a stooping header.

“A week ago there were a few stories knocking around,” Dyche said, referring to Burnley’s doom-mongers.

“It changed after the Bournemouth game and it has changed again now that we’ve won away.

“This was a resolute performance because it’s difficult coming here.

“They get on the front foot, get the ball forward early and it’s tough to play against.

“They made it so awkward we couldn’t get a foothold in the game.

“But we did calm it down a bit in the second half and scored two good goals.”

Dyche confirmed that Burnley must wait to discover the condition of James Tarkowski.

The twice-capped England defender suffered what appeared to be a shoulder injury in the opening 10 minutes.

Tarkowski soldiered on until the 27th-minute, but he eventually departed with what was later confirmed as a stomach injury.

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Central Coast Mariners coach says club can properly judge Usain Bolt by January

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Head coach Mike Mulvey believes Central Coast Mariners will be able to properly judge Usain Bolt by January.

Eight-time Olympic champion Bolt joined the A-League side in August and played 20 minutes of a pre-season game against a select XI later that month.

The 32-year-old has said he feels his game is improving as he bids to win a professional contract with the side based in Gosford, 30 miles north of Sydney.

Mulvey said: “Usain is progressing and that’s the main thing. From the outset, we said he needed time, we said we would give him 12 months if need be.

“A reasonable assumption would be that around January we should be judging where he’s at.

“We’re going to be ramping up our individual sessions with him over the next few weeks, so he will be given every opportunity.”

Bolt said he is looking to get more playing minutes – and could line up as part of a Mariners side who will play Macarthur South West United on October 12.

“I feel like I’m improving. My touch is getting better, I’ve got a while to go but with more training and more dedication to my craft I will be fine,” he said.

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Wembley Stadium sale to Shahid Khan has backing of FA board

Matt Slater 27/09/2018
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The Football Association’s board has unanimously backed the plan to sell Wembley Stadium to Fulham owner Shahid Khan, the national governing body has announced.

The proposed deal, which is worth £600million in cash and £300m in future revenue from the stadium’s hospitality business, will now go to the FA Council for its blessing on October 11.

In a statement, an FA spokesperson said: “The sale of Wembley Stadium, the negotiated protections and an outlined plan to invest £600m into football community facilities, were presented and discussed at the FA Board meeting today.

“Following on from this discussion, the FA Board has agreed to take the presentation to the FA Council to get its input now that the full facts are known.”

Prior to the crunch meeting, it had been widely reported that the three board members from the National Game, or grassroots football, had strong reservations about the sale and the desired unanimity would be impossible, effectively killing the plan.

But their concerns appear to have melted away, which will greatly encourage FA chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn, who have championed this idea for over a year, that they can get this over the line.

The terms of the deal have already been approved with Khan, who wants to use the stadium as a base for his National Football League side the Jacksonville Jaguars, and it has been backed by the government, professional leagues and public bodies that invested in Wembley’s rebuilding.

Under Khan’s ownership, the stadium would still be used, on a rental basis, for most of England’s home matches, all of the current club finals and semi-finals it stages and rugby league’s Challenge Cup final.

The only exception to the status quo would be that England would need to play its home games in September and November on the road, as they clash with the NFL’s regular season.

The American billionaire has also committed to maintaining the stadium as a possible venue for major international games, agreed to avoid sponsorship deals with gambling firms and other controversial businesses and given the FA buy-back and and sell-on clauses, should he fail to comply with conditions or sell at a later date for a profit.

The FA has already said it wants to use the windfall to invest up to £1billion in much-needed community facilities – new changing rooms, better drainage for grass pitches and more 3G pitches – and this will be done via the Football Foundation, the charity it set up in 2000 with the Premier League and Sport England to invest in the grassroots.

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