Saturday 15 December 2018

More belief and we can cope in Premier League, says Cardiff boss Warnock

Goals from Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson earned Bournemouth’s win.

Neil Warnock was pleased with the performances of his players (Mark Kerton/PA)
Neil Warnock was pleased with the performances of his players (Mark Kerton/PA)

By Ed Elliot, Press Association Sport

Neil Warnock believes Cardiff have little to fear in the Premier League based on their opening-day defeat at Bournemouth.

The newly-promoted Bluebirds produced a battling display on the south coast, but created little and were left empty-handed after goals from Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson earned the Cherries a 2-0 success.

City captain Sean Morrison almost bundled home a second a second-half equaliser at the Vitality Stadium, while Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge saved Wilson’s first-half penalty.

Manager Warnock was pleased with the performance of his players and urged them to have more belief about competing in the top flight.

“I think the start of the game, one or two were really nervous, but as the game wore on we thought, ‘bloody hell, not as good as that, is it?’” said Warnock.

“We haven’t got to fear anything really.

“Little bit more clinical, little bit more quality in certain areas, I think we could have tested them a lot more, but that’s to be worked on really.

“I thought we grew into it in the second half and, if Morrison’s a little bit more agile, that would have been a good equaliser and it would have been interesting for the rest of the game.

“It wasn’t to be, I thought they were a little bit more clinical than us, but overall I’ve got to be pleased with that.

“I thought we went right until the end and disappointed one or two things didn’t go for us.”

Bournemouth, who lost their opening four games of last season, ensured it would be a winning start this year as Fraser slotted home in the 24th minute before Wilson added a second in stoppage time.

Striker Wilson could have made it a more comfortable afternoon for the hosts, but his tame penalty in the 34th minute, after he was tripped in the area by Bruno Ecuele Manga, was tipped wide by Etheridge.

Victory for Eddie Howe’s men comes a decade after they began with a 17-point deduction in League Two and he is delighted with the club’s progress.

“That season is etched in my memory because it was just incredible what happened,” said Howe.

“From that moment to this, this club’s unrecognisable.

“So much has happened, if you’d sat someone down and said this will be the next 10 years for this football club, you’d have carted them off and said they were mad.

“It just goes to show what can happen in football.

“As much as we are pleased and happy with today, we have to remain very level-headed.

“We need to build the football club to make it stronger over a long period of time.”

Speaking about the game, he added: “Full respect for Cardiff because they gave everything to the match and it was very competitive.

“We controlled the first half without really opening them up as much as we would have wanted to but two moments of quality win us the game in the end.”

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