Warnock keeps Hughes feud simmering


Published: Saturday 13th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Neil Warnock has criticised Stoke for “time-wasting from the start” in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace in a withering jibe at old foe Mark Hughes.

Warnock was left frustrated Palace failed to claim victory in a dismal Premier League draw, with Peter Crouch’s tap-in quickly cancelling out James McArthur’s first Eagles goal.

Palace manager Warnock conceded in midweek that relations remain frosty with Hughes, in a feud that developed in April 2013.

The former Sheffield United boss believes Palace should have coped better with Stoke’s “set way”, as their patchy form stretched to just one win in 10 games.

“It was probably a war of attrition,” said Warnock.

“It’s difficult when you get teams who have that set way and who are time-wasting from the start, and you’ve got to cope with that.

“The problem we had was we didn’t keep the lead for long enough.

“You’ve seen how many efforts and shots on goal we had and we had to keep the lead longer than we did, that was our biggest problem.

“We were attacking trying to get the second goal, we were in a good position, and we shouldn’t get caught on the counter like that.

“That was the only blip for me defensive-wise: I thought we coped quite well with whatever else they had to throw at us.”

Hughes succeeded Warnock at QPR in January 2012, but lasted less than a year at Loftus Road.

The former Manchester United striker was then linked with replacing Warnock for a second time, at Leeds in April 2013.

That prompted Warnock to proclaim he hoped Hughes “destroys another team of mine”: the Welshman was never appointed, but the feud was still set.

The pair shook hands ahead of Saturday’s kick-off, but could not even look at each other.

Warnock expects Marouane Chamakh to miss “a couple of weeks” with a thigh problem, but the Morocco striker will head for scans on Monday.

Stoke boss Hughes claimed the state of the Selhurst Park pitch restricted his side’s attacking fluency.

“We’re reasonably pleased with a point at Palace,” said Hughes.

“Sometimes it’s not easy to get on the ball and play the game you want to.

“The pitch wasn’t great today in terms of trying to play the kind of passing game we’ve been playing of late.

“In the last period we didn’t really give Palace any momentum in their play, and that’s what the players and their fans thrive on.

“Ideally in an attacking sense we’d have liked to have produced more, but that wasn’t able to happen and that’s credit to how well Palace defended.”

Hughes admitted losing influential forward Bojan Krkic to a hip injury left his side imbalanced.

“We probably missed the spark of Bojan in that second half,” he said.

“We’ve struggled, certainly last year, on our travels, and it was about making sure we got something out of the game.

“Bojan got a bang on the fleshy part just above his hip bone, it’s very painful but he’ll only be a couple of days.

“We just missed that spark and his intelligence.”

Published: Saturday 13th December 2014 by The News Editor

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