Fired-up Cardiff silence rift talk to delight Warnock
Cardiff City 2 West Ham United 0
Neil Warnock insisted that his Cardiff squad is united after ending a run of three successive Premier League defeats with an impressive home victory. But Cardiff remain two points from safety after Southampton came from behind to beat Tottenham.
Talk before the game had centred on the comments of former players Danny Gabbidon and Nathan Blake, who questioned the team spirit inside the Cardiff camp.
Former Wales striker Blake even went as far as to say that the dressing room was "splintered", but defiant boss Warnock said the performance answered that criticism.
"I think even the lads mentioned the 'split camp' and the 'splinters' and what's been said this week," Warnock said after goals from Junior Hoilett and Victor Camarasa gave Cardiff a thoroughly deserved three points. "But you don't get a performance like that with a split camp. I thought they were fabulous, from one to 11 and the subs.
"I don't think there was a weakness. I thought we worked hard this week in training and it's benefited us."
Asked if he had addressed those claims of a dressing-room rift, Warnock said there was no need to. "I didn't have to. The lads were all talking about it," he added. "We were asking them to stand up - 'will you stand up please, you rifters!' - but nobody stood up."
Only six points separate 18th-placed Cardiff and Newcastle in 13th, with eight games of the season remaining. "It brings a few more back into the pack," Warnock said. "It makes a few more nervous."
West Ham stay ninth, but their away form is a huge concern. Manuel Pellegrini's side have now lost five of their last six league games on the road without scoring.
Eddie Howe hailed Callum Wilson after the striker opened the scoring in the first half and laid on the game-clinching goal for Ryan Fraser in the second on his return to action as Bournemouth snapped a nine-game Premier League losing run on the road.
The striker made his first appearance in seven weeks after recovering from a knee injury and made a timely and crucial contribution in front of watching England boss Gareth Southgate.
“He is an outstanding player with unique attributes for us,” said Howe, whose side secured their first away win since the end of October. “He has that ability to run in behind and he’s got the work ethic off the ball and, of course, he knows where the goal is.”
Sunday Indo Sport