Warnock: Bosses must curb ref haranguing

December 12, 2006

Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock feels it is up to Premiership managers to clamp down on players hounding referees after watching his side's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa at Bramall Lane.

It was a game which ended in controversy as Villa substitute Juan Pablo Angel blatantly elbowed Blades captain Chris Morgan in the face, later sparking 'an exchange of words in the tunnel' according to Villa manager Martin O'Neill.

But credit is due to Warnock's players for not haranguing referee Mark Halsey and voicing their protests, as other more high-profile teams tend to do.

After watching Alan Wiley harassed by Chelsea and Arsenal players on several occasions in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, the Blades manager quipped: 'I don't know why my lads didn't hound the referee and get round him.'

On a serious note, Warnock added: 'We have to do something about that. It's out of order.

'When I look at other teams, why aren't four or five booked? That would stop them.

'Look at how Alan Wiley was hounded. As managers, we have to do something about it.

'I think Stuart Pearce spoke on everybody's behalf the other day. We have to clear it up.'

It is unclear whether Halsey saw the elbow incident. If not, then the Football Association's video advisory panel may take up the case against Angel.

Warnock added: 'It is disappointing the official didn't see it, although Morgs has said he did.

'We will have to see, but I don't think there's any need for it.'

Morgan was seen racing off into the tunnel at the final whistle, followed closely by assistant manager Stuart McCall.

O'Neill, who is to look at the elbow incident, revealed: 'There were a few words exchanged in the tunnel, but it was not too dissimilar to what happens in most tunnels at the end of a game.

'There were a few people separating things, although there was nothing thrown as far as I could see.

'It shouldn't spoil what was a pretty exciting game, and I think we more than played our part.'

Villa took the lead after just 76 seconds when midfielder Stiliyan Petrov scored his first goal for the club following a £6.5million move from Celtic in August.

Chris Sutton hit the crossbar, while United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny made two point-blank saves as the visitors came close to adding to their lead.

But after the break it was a different story as United swiftly hit back in the 50th minute with 20-year-old Stephen Quinn scoring his first for the Blades in only his second Premiership appearance.

Warnock's men then hit the front 14 minutes later through Danny Webber, only to surrender their lead after just 44 seconds when Milan Baros grabbed his first Villa goal for eight months.

Villa have now drawn seven of their nine away matches this season, although the point was enough to lift them up to eighth, while the Blades also moved up one place to 16th.

Warnock was unhappy, though, adding: 'The result was disappointing.

'But if Sutton had scored with that header then we would have been staring down the barrel of a defeat.

'Against us you have to take your chances because we have that attitude at the moment where we look like we can score two or three goals.

'Credit to my lads because they don't know when they are beaten.'