Manager Neil Warnock has cancelled plans for a team trip to Tenerife.

Cardiff trade in training break for family time after Sala tragedy

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  • 2019-02-11 06:10:43 1 years ago
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Neil Warnock has abandoned plans for Cardiff to take a mid-season break so that he and his players can reflect on the Emiliano Sala tragedy in privacy with their families.

Following Saturday's crucial 2-1 victory at Southampton they are without a fixture until they host Watford on February 22, and Warnock had been preparing to take his squad to Tenerife ahead of the run-in that will determine whether they succeed in preserving their Premier League status.

Sala's body was discovered on Thursday in the crashed plane that had been taking him to Cardiff, and though his team have responded admirably in the circumstances since the plane went missing on January 21, the manager believes that they will benefit from time with their families.

His captain Sol Bamba previously revealed some of their players had become fearful of flying since the incident, and the 70-year-old Warnock said: "The club gave me permission to fly out to Tenerife, to take them all for four days.

"But after what's happened over the past two weeks, I'd rather cuddle my kids and see my missus because it's been a long two weeks. I've never known anything like this in my life and I've seen most things.

"They'll all be reflecting on what's happened and your family is more important than football isn't it? They are all booking different flights and some of them aren't going anywhere. I'm going somewhere near Swansea, me, for two nights.

"(Victor Camarasa's) going back to Spain for a few days, that'll be good, he'll be having treatment on his calf and he'll be training with his fitness guy over there and in nicer weather with his family."

Warnock acknowledged after the match that "we could have put the ball in the corner" rather than risk chasing their last-gasp winner.

And he added: "One of my staff said the point might have kept us up. I think when you get to my age you don't worry too much really. You don't know what's around the corner, especially what's happened around here the last two weeks."

Victory on Saturday, secured by finishes from Sol Bamba and Kenneth Zohore either side of Jack Stephens' late equalising goal, meant that for the first time since April 1962 the club have won successive top-flight fixtures.

Warnock has targeted further points from a run that includes Everton, Wolves, West Ham and Brighton after Watford, and Aron Gunnarsson said: "(Sala's death) brought everyone together, the performances and the fans and the lads and everyone around the club have been amazing at this difficult time.

"It has been really difficult but the boys have stuck together with everyone around the club.

"The most important thing was for the family to mourn. Knowing that now, hopefully the pilot will be found and his family can mourn. It has been difficult but we have stuck together and our gaffer said after the game, 'This one was for Sala'."

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Cardiff trade in training break for family time after Sala tragedy

Silva applauds Watford's 'good strategy' after defeat at fired-up Hornets' nest

Marco Silva has applauded former club Watford for creating a fiery atmosphere on his return to Vicarage Road.

Silva, whose position as Everton manager is under mounting scrutiny after Watford consigned his side to their third consecutive Premier League defeat, was given a hostile reception on Saturday.

First, Hornets club captain Troy Deeney stoked the fire by calling on his team-mates to "kick the s***" out of Everton.

Then, Al Wilson's 1960s classic, 'The Snake', was among Watford's pre-match song selection at Vicarage Road.

Silva, who was sacked by Watford 13 months ago amid suggestions he had attempted to engineer a move to Everton, also faced a series of derogatory chants from the home supporters.

"It was clear the strategy during the week and for sure it was not a players' strategy or a manager's strategy," said Silva. "It was something more than that.

"To be honest with you, my opinion is that it was a good strategy when you create something for everyone to all go in one way.

"Eighty to 90 per cent of the people don't really know the truth – what I am telling you is that I was really welcomed by the people who know me and my work at this club – all of them.

"To know more or less the truth is what is important to me."

Everton have lost nine of their last 13 matches in all competitions, and on Sunday, it was reported that Leeds manager Marcelo Biesla has been identified as a potential replacement for Silva.

The Toffees are ninth in the table, four points adrift of Watford, having played one match more.
Everton enjoyed greater possession and more shots than Watford, but appeared a side devoid of confidence.

"Yes that is true, and it is not good to see," added Silva. "We created enough chances to achieve a different result.

"Some were in the six-yard box and we didn't score.

"It was lack of confidence in some moments, but if we put the ball in the net we can start to achieve the results and the confidence will change in the team."

For Watford, they have enjoyed a steady season under Javi Gracia and can afford to have one eye on a seventh-place finish and qualification for Europe.

Andre Gray, who was rarely used by Silva during his tenure at Watford, scored the winner after 65 minutes, his first in the league since September.

"We just want to test ourselves and see how far we can go this season," he said. "We are going to try and win every game."

Four people were arrested after an altercation outside Vicarage Road following the match left two men needing hospital treatment. The injured men sustained cuts and bruises to their faces, according to
Hertfordshire Constabulary.

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Benitez: Almiron mentally ready for Premier League challenge

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is confident record signing Miguel Almiron is mentally ready to be pitched into the heat of Premier League battle.

The Paraguay forward, who turned 25 on Sunday, completed a deadline day switch from MLS side Atlanta United as Benitez's pleas for financial support from owner Mike Ashley finally paid dividends.

Benitez knows it will take Almiron time to adapt to a very different brand of football and he is equally aware of the physical demands that will place upon a player who is rich in talent, but slight in stature.

However, the Spaniard is confident the playmaker is ready to take on the challenge, starting with a possible debut at Wolves on Monday evening.

He said: "When you talk with him, he is ready, mentally he is ready and he says he wants to play and is available. You can see him in training, he is very dynamic, he is always involved, so that is fine.

"But it is the Premier League and the physicality and all those things, you have to cope with that. We will see how he feels and the other players are doing.

"We are bringing in a player who was in the MLS, so we know he needs to adapt. But he has the pace, the runs and the ability.

"We will see if he is strong enough to do the same thing as he was doing in the MLS on the ball and without the ball."

Almiron has been recruited to add creativity to a side which has proved defensively resilient, but at times short of inspiration, and his invention could prove crucial over the remaining 13 games of the season with the Magpies having seen their five-point advantage over the bottom three evaporate in the last fortnight.

Benitez said: "He is different to the players we have and that is what we were looking for, running in between the lines and behind the defenders and scoring goals and making passes."

The Magpies manager has resigned himself to the race for survival going all the way to the final game of the season at Fulham, although he is not convinced 40 points will be required to stay up this season.

He said: "Hopefully we can get a result against Wolves, Huddersfield and Burnley. Maybe Fulham, the last game, will be the most important game. Hopefully not, but you never know.

"For me, 36-38 points [will secure safety]."

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