Neil Warnock: Cardiff manager praises side after 14th clean sheet

Neil Warnock celebrates win against Middlesbrough
Warnock celebrates Cardiff's win over Middlesbrough, courtesy of a first-half Sean Morrison goal

Neil Warnock praised his sides's defence after they moved back into the automatic promotion places.

Saturday's 1-0 win over Middlesbrough gave Cardiff a 14th clean sheet from 32 league games this season.

But Warnock says will not copy Claudio Ranieri, who rewarded Leicester's 2016 Premier League winners with pizza when they kept a clean sheet.

"I might have a glass of bubbly when I get home, but nothing to do with the players," said Warnock.

"I won't be taking them away, I know that much, only on the plane to Ipswich [for Wednesday's game]."

Warnock set his Cardiff team a target of 16 clean sheets at the start of the season, in the belief that figure would be enough to secure a play-off place.

The Bluebirds are in a strong position to finish in the top six, with an 11-point gap between themselves and Preston in seventh.

Sean Morrison
Captain Sean Morrison is up to four goals for the season, only four Cardiff players have more

But having climbed back up to second place, two points ahead of Aston Villa in third, Cardiff could yet achieve automatic promotion to the Premier League.

The 1-0 win over Middlesbrough was their second of that scoreline against the Teesside club this season, with Joe Ralls' penalty sealing victory at the Riverside in October.

Saturday's triumph came courtesy of a second goal in a week by centre-back and captain Sean Morrison, who played a starring role in a robust defensive display from Cardiff.

"He's got better. He took his goal well but in his own box he's been criticised in the past but I think he's been fantastic in his own box in recent weeks," said Warnock.

"I think he's grown as the season's gone on. Another very mature performance, I thought we defended with our lives.

"A lot of plusses today because it was a hard game. We all thought it would be a one-niller. They didn't look like scoring."