FA CUP: Warnock happy to see Bluebirds go up a gear to beat plucky Stags

Neil Warnock.'Cardiff City v Leeds United.  SkyBet Champipnship.  Cardiff City Stadium.'26 September 2017.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Neil Warnock.'Cardiff City v Leeds United. SkyBet Champipnship. Cardiff City Stadium.'26 September 2017. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock was delighted to see his players go up a gear after the break to take control of their FA Cup replay at Mansfield tonight.

The Bluebirds went in 1-1 after a thrilling first half but netted twice in six minutes to take a grip before adding a late goal to win 4-1.

“I wasn’t too disappointed at half-time,” he said.

“I thought our attitude was good and that was the main thing. We were just a little bit lethergic and, up front, we were waiting for things to happen rather than make it happen.

“We just said at half-time let’s get on the front foot and be positive when we are in their half and I thought we were a lot better in the second half.”

Although there was a two-division gap between the teams, Warnock said: “It’s hard.

“We were playing a team that had only lost once in 20 games, no matter what division they’re in. The way they play you’re up against it every other minute.

“You have to compete and in the second half I thought we were super, competing and playing.”

Cardiff can now look forward to the visit of Manchester City in round four with Warnock smiling: “You have to beat these teams if you want to win the cup!

“They are probably the best in the world at the moment, so it’s great.

“We can’t lose whatever the result.

“If I am totally honest, if the draw had been different, we’d have been knocked out.

“But I decided to put out what was almost a full team tonight and we’ve got our rewards haven’t we?

“It’s a great reward isn’t it, but let’s concentrate on the biggest match of the season – Sheffield Wednesday away!”

He added: “A big thank you to the fans tonight. That’s the coldest I’ve ever known it watching a game.”