After today’s draw at home to Aston Villa, our manager was quizzed by the BBC on a great many issues that arose from a debatable refereeing performance. One question that was not in doubt, however, according to Warnock at least, was how Armand Traore let the team down with a rash late challenge on Villa’s Marc Albrighton which led to a 2nd booking and – as we all know – his marching orders.
As Traore headed off down the tunnel to the dressing room, having clearly been seen on tv shaking his head in amazement at the referee’s decision and mouthing that he couldn’t believe the decision, Warnock dragged Traore back and made him stay to watch the game out and support his team-mates.
This action was picked up by the cameras and, naturally, led to Warnock being quizzed about what he had said to Traore at that moment.
Warnock was brutal in his honesty: ‘I thought it was a disgrace,’ Warnock answered. ‘I told him to his face you’ve let me, you’ve let the team down.’
‘When we’re playing at Fulham next week, what are you going to be doing?’ Warnock said he asked the young defender.
Warnock pointed out in the interview that, as an opposition player who’s team is 1-0 up away from home, there is nothing more wonderful than having ‘someone stupid like Traore going to tackle like that!’
Warnock also added he would be fining Traore for that rush of blood to the head!
However, in the rest of the interview, prior to discussing ‘those’ handballs and ‘that’ penalty decision, Warnock also went on to say, about Traore – and with a huge smile on his face, I should point out: ‘He’s learning! He’s a good player. He’ll be even better now after that! And the desire was there.
‘To see the lads battle back like that. That’s what won us the Championship last year. And you can’t put a price on spirit like that!’
Debate is raging already over whether Warnock was right to ‘air his laundry in public’. However, as usual, there is more to Warnock’s words than the sound bite headlines!
Warnock was bitterly disappointed with Traore but is also just as eager to remind everyone what a good young player he is who is learning his game – and quickly!
Shame Traore won’t be taking another lesson next week at Fulham though – and now we can start the debate as to who will come in to replace him!
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