Warnock enjoying Palace return

30 August 2014 08:31

Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock admitted he only briefly wondered if he had made the right decision to return to football after seeing the Eagles snatch a dramatic draw at Newcastle.

Substitute Wilfried Zaha denied the Magpies a first Barclays Premier League victory with a 95th-minute equaliser to clinch a 3-3 result at St James' Park.

Warnock, who had seen his side twice take the lead only to find themselves 3-2 down with just seconds of normal time remaining, was delighted with how his first game back panned out.

Asked if he had at any point regretted his decision to accept the job, he said: "I did half an hour before the game, that's about all really - and at 5am this morning when I actually woke up.

"At my age, you have to do things at 5am in the morning, don't you? But that's about all.

"The one thing about football that I have really loved over the years, I have loved it when I have got a group of players that want to come to training, that want to play, that want to tackle, want to put their heads in.

"We are going to have poor games at times, but I love that type. The camaraderie with this lot - Tony (Pulis) did a fantastic job last year and there's not one bad apple in the squad. It's great to have the chance to manage a group like this.

"What I am determined to do is enjoy it. For however long it lasts, I am going to enjoy every moment.

"My wife is very supportive. I have turned down a few clubs over the last 12 months, but it just seems right, this one. Even if I'm seventh choice, it doesn't bother me."

Newcastle looked to have snatched victory when central defender Mike Williamson put them ahead for the first time in the game with his first goal for five years, which came with a minute of normal time remaining.

But Zaha, who only completed his loan move from Manchester United back to his former club on Friday, rescued a point five minutes into seven of stoppage time at the end of the game.

Dwight Gayle had given the visitors a first-minute lead which was cancelled out by Daryl Janmaat, and Magpies substitute Rolando Aarons' first senior goal for the club drew his side level for a second time after Jason Puncheon had struck three minutes into the second half.

For Warnock, it was a happy afternoon on Tyneside, where he arrived on his last visit to discover that Palace had been docked 10 points for going into administration.

He said: "It's not a lucky airport for me, really. Last night as we landed, I found out that one of my dogs had to be put down, so it's been difficult

"Two days in the job as well - last time, it was 10 points - but I love coming here. It's a proper football stadium, isn't it? Proper fans.

"I like ruffling a few. I thought me and Alan (Pardew) were exemplary today."

Pardew was understandably disappointed at his side's start to both halves, and their capitulation when they thought they had won, but also peeved by referee Mike Jones' decision to play seven minutes of added time.

He said: "When a team comes here and wastes time from the moment the game kicks off on goal kicks.time and time again they took ages on everything, and then they are 3-2 down and he gives them seven minutes.

"I don't know, it just didn't sit right with me. I suppose he could just go, 'Oh, the letter of the law' and all that, but I don't know. Just in the spirit of the game I thought that was wrong.

"But anyway, I'm not going to bleat on about that too much. We should have won and we didn't."

Source: PA

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