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Page last updated at 17:36 GMT, Saturday, 10 May 2008 18:36 UK

Warnock sends out warning to City

Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock
Warnock was unhappy with City's reaction to their winner

Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock insists Bristol City's 2-1 win in their Championship play-off semi-final first leg is far from an unassailable lead.

"I think you could see from their celebrations that they were already at Wembley. I didn't think much of their celebrations to be honest," he said.

"There was no need for them to go off like they did.

"They're 2-1 up but celebrations should be kept until you are through. Football has a habit of getting you back."

City midfielder David Noble struck from 30 yards in stoppage time to spark joyous scenes on his side's bench.

City boss Gary Johnson said: "Noble is a big-game player and he scored a fantastic goal. He has that ability and he's shown that during the second half of the season.

"There is no bigger game than today, he bought a ticket and won the lottery with that one."

We've got names for our set-pieces and we call that one the weasel

Gary Johnson

"But I told the lads not to get carried away, it's only half-time and there's only a goal in it," he said.

"It was a good performance but I did not want it to look like we were over-celebrating so I nipped that in the bud."

Just a few minutes before Noble's strike there had been heated words exchanged between the dugouts.

That followed a contentious penalty decision awarded against City when Louis Carey was judged to have fouled Jose Fonte, which allowed Ben Watson to put the score at 1-1.

Until then, it had seemed City were heading for a win thanks to Carey's goal from a well-worked free-kick, involving Noble and Nick Carle.

It's only half time - Johnson

Johnson revealed it was a move that had been worked on in training.

"We've got names for our set-pieces and we call that one the weasel," he added.

"Michael McIndoe just shouted 'weasel' and everyone got into their positions."

Warnock was also angry with what he felt was strong-arm tactics from City.

Of a tackle on Danny Butterfield by Marvin Elliott, which saw the midfielder booked, Warnock said: "That was a straight red.


"We should have been playing 10 men after that. You could see by the look on Elliott's face he thought his season was over. You get booked for throwing the ball away."

Tempers were sometimes only just below boiling point on a very hot day and at one point Palace's Shaun Derry gave Johnson a soaking when he squirted water at him.

"He thought I looked a bit hot and he was trying to cool me down - it was quite a nice shower," said Johnson.

"I just said to him 'see you on Tuesday' and we shook hands."

The teams meet again on Tuesday for the return leg at Ashton Gate.

see also
Who will make play-off finals?
08 May 08 |  Football
Crystal Palace 1-2 Bristol City
10 May 08 |  Championship
C Palace-Bristol C as it happened
10 May 08 |  Championship

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