Mick McCarthy thinks Cardiff are right to be satisfied with a point at Middlesbrough despite dropping out of the play-off places this weekend.
Cardiff have dropped down two spots and out of the top six after failing to hold on to the lead they secured through Sean Morrison’s opener eight minutes before the break.
Morrison’s header from Will Vaulks’ long throw was against the run of play, but with Middlesbrough struggling to create clear-cut chances it looked like Cardiff would win for the seventh game in a row.
However, Paddy McNair’s equaliser with eight minutes remaining secured a point for Middlesbrough, who were indebted to their substitutes for making the difference in the end.
Neeskens Kebano and Djed Spence combined down the right in the build-up to the leveller, before Aden Flint’s attempted clearance only got as far as Chuba Akpom, who headed goalwards for McNair to force in.
McCarthy, who has already taken Sunderland and Wolves up during his career, said: “I could say their goal was bad luck, but I’d say credit to them. They were pressing, they made it happen.
“Warnock used to launch everything into the box. He said something to me about that, and I said ‘well, you bought them all, I’m just using them’. It’s a really good weapon that throw-in and it always has been, whether it’s Rory Delap or Will Vaulks.
“Neil was just complaining because that’s what he does. We’re both the same. If we’re not complaining you may as well nail the lid down because we’ll have croaked it.
“The comparison (with Wolves and Sunderland) is they’ve got a real work ethic and team spirit. Then they’ve got that sprinkling of quality with Harry Wilson and Josh Murphy, and Kieffer Moore who’s been getting his goals. It’s a recipe for winning games, but so is coming here and getting a point out of games like this.”
Warnock was more relieved to have come away with the point he felt Middlesbrough deserved having struggled to find a way to score before McNair’s goal.
Warnock said: “We enjoyed it today. I’ve been on at them all week about how difficult it will be because of the way they play.
“The lads competed other than the goal and we played some good stuff at times. We passed it well.
“The goal came and the lads on the bench said let’s make sure we don’t give it away, I said let’s go and win it.
“You only have to look at the stats, we dominated the game really. We had one or two really good performances. It’s a promising game in the circumstances.
“I was ever so pleased with the substitutes, all of them, and we needed that.
“They had a couple of yellow cards, so we wanted to put them under pressure. I thought Kebano was really sharp, you don’t want to come up against him in the last 10 minutes. Chuba won a couple of great headers. Marvin Johnson did well too.
“I want the players to enjoy it now, no one really gives us any chances now with the teams picking points up today.
“We have two away games this week and they are both winnable. I think every game is winnable, we just have to go back to basics and do what we’re good at.”
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