After yesterday’s trip to St James’ Park, Neil Warnock was elated with the overall team performance, with Wilfried Zaha’s dramatic last minute goal securing a point on a day when we had led twice.
Having been out of football since April 2013 when he parted company with Leeds United, it’s clear to see that the Yorkshireman has missed the day to day environment of football management, with his comments highlighting just how much he’s enjoyed being back in charge of Palace since taking over.
“I couldn’t ask much more than what the players gave me today, I’ve only had two days with them but I must say I am delighted with their attitude.
“They played today like I thought they could play, we attacked well but at half time I was disappointed because in that first forty-five minutes Newcastle’s best chances came from our mistakes which gave them opportunities in our half of the pitch.
“We created some great chances and I didn’t think Wilfried’s effort should have been ruled out for offside and that would have made it 3-1. It was cruel on the lads to find ourselves 3-2 down and only this week I was told that this team doesn’t come back from a goal behind so it was a fantastic achievement for us to take something back with us.”
“I really haven’t had much time to think about what I have got back involved in since taking the job and it was only about half an hour before the game that I gave some thought to it but I can tell you this job gives you a real good feeling. I love it when you have a group of players who want to come into training every day and learn, want to do well for each other.
The camaraderie of this group is great and it’s a pleasure to be working with them. Tony Pulis did a great job with them last year and there is not one bad apple in the squad and to have a chance to manage a group like this is great.”
“As I have said before he was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet with the goal that was disallowed, he came on and looked really positive and it was great to see him put the ball in the net and earn us the point.
“Looking back on the game I can pull out many of the lads who put in good performances and for me our man of the match was Dwight Gayle, I gave him a start today and he put us ahead early, a really good performance from him today and he will just keep improving.”
Unlike Tony Pulis, Neil Warnock appears to have no qualms about singling out individual performances for praise. It would have been easy for the whole day to have been about Wilfried Zaha; but interestingly Warnock has chosen to make reference to the performance of Dwight Gayle instead, which in many ways, is an extremely shrewd move.
As Warnock continues to mould the squad into his way of thinking, we’ll look towards the visit of Burnley with genuine hope of securing our first win of the season, with the likes of Gayle, Puncheon, Zaha and Bolasie at our disposal, it’s an exciting time once again.
For both the supporters and the manager, there’s real hope once again.