Cardiff City: Neil Warnock hails 'best deadline day'

Warnock
Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock is trying to achieve an eighth promotion

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock says January transfer deadline day was the best of his managerial career.

The Bluebirds signed striker Gary Madine, forward Jamie Ward and defender Armand Traore.

Warnock believes the £6m capture of Madine from Bolton proved Cardiff owner Vincent Tan will support the club's bid for promotion from the Championship.

"It's good and it shows the commitment, Vincent, all the way through has been fantastic," said Warnock.

"We made an offer of £2.5m originally and that ended up doubling so it shows the commitment of Vincent.

"He's given me the ammunition I've wanted. He trusts me and it's great for a manager to know that.

"I don't think we could have done better business, I think it's probably the best transfer deadline I've had in 37 years.

"I can't remember another day when I've improved the squad as much as I've done and been so happy."

A busy deadline day for Cardiff also saw forward Lee Tomlin join Nottingham Forest in a swap deal with Ward, striker Omar Bogle join Peterborough on loan and goalkeeper Lee Camp sign for Sunderland on loan for the rest of the season.

Traore moved after the deadline had passed because, having had his contract terminated at Forest, the left-back was able to join Cardiff as a free agent.

The Senegal international's move is expected to be fully ratified on Friday when his international clearance is completed, and he has been training with the Bluebirds ahead of Saturday's trip to Leeds in the Championship.

Bennett's Sunday penance

Joe Bennett dangerously tackles on Leroy Sane
Joe Bennett's tackle on Leroy Sane

Traore's arrival is timely given the one-match suspension handed to fellow left-back Joe Bennett following his red card during last Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round defeat at home to Manchester City.

Bennett was sent off for two bookings - the second of which he received in added time at the end of the game - but he was fortunate not to have been shown a straight red card for his foul on Leroy Sane in the first half.

Referee Lee Mason was widely criticised for not sending Bennett off for the studs-up lunge which means Sane will miss six weeks with an ankle injury.

Bennett has since apologised for the tackle and, although Warnock does not believe there was malicious intent on that occasion, the Cardiff manager was furious with his player for picking up a second booking for another poor foul on Brahim Diaz.

"I've not spoken to him if I'm honest, I'm disappointed in him really," said Warnock.

"To get a yellow card was unprofessional I thought. It was a ridiculous booking so what else can you expect?

"He'll be training Saturday and Sunday if you want to come and watch him, 11 o clock until 1.30, anybody's welcome!"

Unfair criticism

Despite accepting Bennett's foul on Sane was "bad", Warnock took umbrage to the criticism he and his players faced in the aftermath of their defeat against the Premier League leaders.

City manager Pep Guardiola called for referees to better protect players, while pundits such as former England striker Alan Shearer and ex-Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson were critical of Bennett's foul.

Some reports the following day also took aim at the physical approach of Warnock's teams.

"It's disappointing. It didn't surprise me, certain tabloids," Warnock added.

"I said it was a bad tackle at the time. If you look at Kevin De Bruyne's tackle on Jazz [Richards], his studs are right on his thigh.

"You look at Fernandinho's booking, that was a bad tackle. You look at West Brom this week [in which Matt Phillips and James McClean committed bad fouls on Brahim Diaz and De Bruyne].

"We were the only game worth commenting on because Chelsea-Newcastle was a foregone conclusion, so we took the brunt. There's only one bad tackle really in the game. "