Warnock restrained but ‘absolutely distraught underneath’ after Burnley defeat

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock said he wanted to avoid another Football Association charge as he largely bit his tongue following Mike Dean’s controversial decision to reverse a penalty decision in their 2-0 defeat by Burnley.

The hosts were leading through Chris Wood’s first-half goal when referee Dean pointed to the spot early in the second half after assistant Darren Cann flagged for handball against Ben Mee.

But, after a discussion with Cann and his other assistant Ian Hussin, Dean changed his mind and also waved away two later strong penalty appeals before Wood grabbed an injury-time second.

Neil Warnock's Cardiff are five points from safety

Neil Warnock’s Cardiff are five points from safety (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Warnock appeared furious during the game, but took the diplomatic route in his press conference.

On Friday the Cardiff boss was charged by the FA for three breaches of the rules following his reaction to defeat by Chelsea two weeks ago, when the officials failed to rule out an offside goal.

Asked about his magnanimous attitude, Warnock said: “I’m just trying not to get fined. I’ve been advised. I’m absolutely distraught underneath.”

Cardiff’s Victor Camarasa confronts Mike Dean after the referee overturned a penalty decision

Cardiff’s Victor Camarasa confronts Mike Dean after the referee overturned a penalty decision (Anthony Devlin/PA).

The Bluebirds boss was particularly unhappy about the involvement of Hussin, who was apparently crucial in persuading Dean to overturn the decision.

Warnock said: “The linesman was adamant and the fourth official told me the referee hadn’t seen it and yet another linesman from 75 yards away has seen that it’s hit his head first and if it’s hit his head first then apparently it’s not a penalty.

“I find that amazing that the other linesman is instrumental in overturning it. The linesman who couldn’t see a toe poke go out in the first five minutes.

“I wish we surrounded the ref a little bit like the Burnley lads do. He’s one of the best there is Mike Dean, so you’ve got to accept what he says I’m afraid. I don’t want any more charges, I’ve got three this week. I don’t want to have a hotel down there, do I?”

The second penalty appeal came when Aron Gunnarsson went down under a challenge from Charlie Taylor, and Warnock added: “We feel that was the worst penalty shout of the lot. (Dean) said he made a meal of it. Taylor catches him right on his ankle bone.”

The result leaves Cardiff five points adrift of Brighton, who appear the only side now within reach and the pair meet on Tuesday.

“We keep getting kicked in the teeth one after the other, but I can’t fault the lads, I thought they were super today,” said Warnock.

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“Now we’ve got to once again overcome disappointments, decisions, and get ready for Brighton.

“If they beat us it’s probably all over isn’t it, so a lot depends on the night and if things go for you. I hope we have a bit more luck than we’ve had lately and we’re ready for it.”

Burnley boss Sean Dyche felt Dean had ultimately made the right decision, saying: “I think the referee’s officiated that very well. It’s a really tough moment. If it hit Ben Mee in the face then impossible (it’s a penalty).”

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Speaking to burnleyfootballclub.com, Mee said: “I thought it wasn’t a penalty straight away. I couldn’t do anything about it. My arm was by my side and the ball hit me in the face then hit me on the arm.

“Tom (Heaton) calmly said go and speak to him and it was the right decision.”

The Clarets looked in severe trouble three weeks ago after four defeats in a row, but this victory followed wins against Wolves and Bournemouth and all but guaranteed Premier League football for a fourth successive season.

Dyche said: “People will talk about being safe. We want to make sure factually of course. It’s a big gap, it’s an important gap. Today’s a massive game. The history of the Premier League suggests we’re in a very, very, very strong position.”

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