Warnock: We could have gone up
Palace gave Championship leaders Newcastle a real fright a day after their plight worsened, and Warnock headed south for a meeting on Thursday morning with joint-administrator Brendan Guilfoyle in the dark as to his own future and the implications for his squad. Indeed, the manager was told not to play star Victor Moses in Wednesday night's 2-0 defeat at St James' Park - he later insisted he would have been dropped anyway - as a series of suitors prepare to make their moves. Warnock, who side face a 10-point deduction, said: "I am disappointed because in all honesty, I don't think I have seen a better team than us over the season and I think we could have gone up, so I am bound to be disappointed at 61 that I have not got a chance of going up when I want to. "I don't feel we ought to decimate the squad. Yes, if he [the administrator] has got problems, Victor and the odd one other, but if we are talking four or five, then I can't walk across the water just yet. "It's difficult playing in the Championship with eight players. I would find it very difficult to put a team out with eight players." The 14 men Warnock was able to field on Tyneside battled manfully to the extent that the game was in the balance almost to the death. Newcastle were far from convincing on the night, and had to wait until four minutes into stoppage time to wrap up their first league win since December 20 and restore their three-point lead over Nottingham Forest. They had gone ahead with 20 minutes gone through Shaun Derry's own goal, but the visitors had already passed up two glorious opportunities to open the scoring themselves. Despite their off-field problems, Palace turned in a spirited display and would have been level with 20 minutes remaining had Steve Harper not tipped former Magpie Darren Ambrose's shot onto the post. But their resistance was finally broken four minutes into stoppage time when substitutes Wayne Routledge - like defender Mike Williamson, making his debut for the club - and Nile Ranger staged a pacy break-out before the latter fired past keeper Julian Speroni. Magpies boss Chris Hughton, who admitted he was one of the managers monitoring Moses' situation, said: "There are going to be highs and lows. "But with a game in hand, we have stretched that lead again and probably more importantly with West Brom's result yesterday (1-1 draw at Ipswich), we have managed to stretch that lead between ourselves and third place. "But I expect highs and lows, good form, bad form, wins and losses through to the end of the season. We have just got to make sure we maintain our position."
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