Thursday 26 April 2018

Warnock's old school advice helps Palace outwit Foxes

Crystal Palace 2 Leicester City 0

Mile Jedinak of Crystal Palace scores his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Leicester City at Selhurst Park. Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Mile Jedinak of Crystal Palace scores his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Leicester City at Selhurst Park. Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Mile Jedinak of Crystal Palace celebrates with team-mates after scoring his team's second goal. Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Julian Speroni comes out to block as Leonardo Ulloa of Leicester City heads the ball towards goal. Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Steve Tongue

Asked after a famous Tottenham win over Liverpool what he had said to inspire matchwinner Roman Pavlyuchenko, Harry Redknapp deadpanned: "[expletive deleted] run around a bit."

It has never seemed a lot to ask of Premier League footballers on tens of thousands a week and Neil Warnock, another old-school English manager, repeated the request - with or without the expletive - to Crystal Palace's Fraizer Campbell after a goalless first half of their win over Leicester City on Saturday.

Within a few minutes the striker's livelier movement found him on the end of Scott Dann's fine header from a corner to touch in the first goal and, as the rest of the team responded to being ahead, captain Mile Jedinak headed a second.

Newly promoted Leicester, conquerors of Manchester United in such spectacular fashion six days earlier, were scarcely seen or heard thereafter.

"At half-time I went in and I held my hands up because I knew I was poor in the first half," admitted Campbell, a £900,000 summer signing from Cardiff City.

"The manager said I needed to be more lively and get myself running about, and that's what I came out and did in the second half."

Equally decisive, if not more so, was the excellent quality of the wing play from Jason Puncheon, whose set pieces led to both goals, and Yannick Bolasie.

Wilfried Zaha may have been welcomed back on loan from United as a prodigal son, but for the past week he has been confined to the League Cup.

Leicester and their followers came down to earth with a bump after flying so high against United but their cerebral manager Nigel Pearson was still able to sum up the first six games since winning the Championship with satisfaction.

"For the most part the performances so far have been very encouraging and we've had some positive results because of it. We have to make sure that what's got us success to this point we continue to work at, and aspire to be that bit better as well," Pearson said.

His team falling away badly after half-time will not deflect him from the unusual if understandable habit of watching games from the stand and keeping in touch by telephone with coaches down below.

"The best way of affecting our players and how we play is if I stay in a position where I can see what's happening on the field rather than pitch level," he said of a policy that began a year ago. (© The Independent)

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