EL-HADJI DIOUF has hit back at Neil Warnock by claiming that he is "not an important manager" after insisting he did not verbally abuse QPR midfielder Jamie Mackie while the player lay on the ground with a double leg fracture during Blackburn's FA Cup victory last Saturday.
Diouf, who is the subject of an internal investigation at Blackburn in the wake of allegations by Warnock that he hurled a four-letter insult at Mackie, was described as a "sewer rat" by the QPR manager following the game.
But Blackburn forward Diouf has rejected Warnock's accusations and dismissed the former Sheffield United manager as insignificant.
"Who is Warnock?" Diouf said. "He knows nothing about me. He's not Alex Ferguson. He's not Arsene Wenger. He's not Sam Allardyce or an important manager.
"I know I do a lot of things wrong in my life, I apologise for that and today I'm very sorry for that lad (Mackie) that broke his leg.
"But a lot of the things their manager Warnock says I said after, I never said that. After the game I got in an argument with some players, that's it.
"When the lad broke his leg, I never said anything bad to him. I know I'm an easy target, I need to deal with that. Everything Warnock said is not right."
Warnock and Diouf have clashed in the past, with the then Sheffield United manager criticising Diouf following his part in Liverpool's League Cup semi-final victory in 2003.
"I know he doesn't like me, but I deal with it, I'm a strong man, I'm going to survive," Diouf said. "But I'm not disappointed with what Warnock said because, when the lad was down, I never said anything to him.
"When the lad was injured I got into an argument with the other players. I never touched him, you can ask Benjani or Ryan Nelsen." (© Daily Telegraph, London)