Neil Warnock has backtracked on earlier comments suggesting Cardiff City would “try to keep it down to 10 or 11” at Manchester City.
Cardiff were controversially beaten 2-1 by Chelsea with a pair of late goals on Sunday, leaving Warnock’s men five points adrift of safety with seven games remaining.
The Bluebirds face 17th-placed Burnley next week but must first tackle title-chasing champions City.
With Cardiff still to host Liverpool, too, Warnock suggested after the Chelsea match that his side could decide the destination of the title, while he added that the looming clash with Burnley might tempt him to play a reserve team at the Etihad Stadium.
But, reassessing the situation on Tuesday, Warnock promised Cardiff would attack City as they did Chelsea.
“I won’t field a weakened side against Liverpool – don’t worry – and I’ll make sure my lads are right up for this one [against City],” Warnock told a pre-match news conference.
“I think we’ve got Manchester City and then six winnable games [including Liverpool]. Let’s not use my comments as a defeatist attitude. I don’t want to go there and shut up shop. Let’s go and have a go.
“I wanted to do that against Chelsea, although it turned out sour. That was another kick in the teeth and psychologically you’ve got to be strong to overcome that.
Frustrado, enfadado, triste… no merecemos esto.
Orgulloso de mi equipo.
Frustrated, angry, sad… we didn’t deserve this.
Proud of my team pic.twitter.com/TPckvMw04u
— Victor Camarasa (@vicama8) March 31, 2019
“I won’t know until I look at the faces on Wednesday night whether people are up for it.
“Three or four players had knocks on Sunday, but they all want to play. One lad who I thought would definitely be out wants to do a bit of training and travel with us. It’s important we give a good account of ourselves.”
Warnock continued scathing criticism of Premier League officials in the aftermath of Cesar Azpilicueta’s offside equaliser for Chelsea and acknowledged that he expected the Football Association would want his observations on the matter.
The 70-year-old said that this latest setback added to the feeling that this was the toughest season of his career.
“It’s been my hardest season, my 40th year in management,” he said. “I can’t remember ever having the situations I’ve been in this year. But when I look at the team and how proud I am coming through, people don’t understand.
“I woke up at 3:30 [am] after the game thinking of [linesman] Eddie Smart. And when I retire and I’m fishing, I’ll be thinking of Eddie Smart. The way I am, Mr Marmite, you can’t beat them all.”
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