Neil Warnock hails high-flying Cardiff City as they heap more misery on Sunderland

Lynden Gooch in action against Cardiff City.
Lynden Gooch in action against Cardiff City.

Neil Warnock felt his Cardiff City side fully deserved the victory over Sunderland as the Bluebirds kept up pace with the Championship leaders.

Cardiff are third in the table on 20 points with just goal difference separating them from Wolves in second and table-topping Leeds United, who they play on Tuesday night.

Vastly experienced Warnock was full of praise for his players after they heaped more home misery on Sunderland, without a win at home since December last year.

Cardiff took the lead after just seven minutes, a long ball from goalkeeper Neil Etheridge flicked-on by Kenneth Zohore to Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, who teed up Craig Bryson to volley home past Robbin Ruiter.

Sunderland fought their way back into the game and equalised from the spot eight minutes into the second half through Lynden Gooch's penalty after the striker was hauled down by Sean Morrison.

Morrison was then hauled over himself by Lamine Kone in the 73rd minute, Joe Ralls slamming home the penalty to seal the victory for high-flying Cardiff City.

Warnock said: "I thought we deserved it even though we gave a goal away and gave them a lift, but I thought we got stronger after their equaliser.

"We should have put the game to bed in the first half an hour but we didn’t and I thought it was a good game – there was plenty of excitement and the crowd did their best to help the home side as well.

"I thought we did well. We didn’t have any clear cut chances. If anything I think we could have been a little bit more clinical on the break and punish them but it wasn’t to be.

"We still worked very, very hard as a unit and that’s what you need to do at places like this.

"They’re going to win soon – when you hear that they haven’t won for 10 games or something like that you don’t want to be that first victory for them.

"I was really pleased for our lads and the crowd at the back who made themselves heard - even though they may have needed binoculars to see the game!"

Warnock praised the impact of on-loan Derby County midfielder Bryson, in particular, and said both penalty decisions were the correct decision.

He added: "We brought him over because he’s such an enthusiastic player and that rubs off on everybody. He’s not short of ability either.

"It’s just his desire and will - he fitted in straight away apart from the fact I can’t understand a word he says. He’s done ever so well.

"I thought we were unlucky not to get one in the first half.

"I thought Sean Morrison got mauled in the first half and we didn’t get that one. Credit to the referee, he got in the right positions and it’s a certain penalty for me and I think theirs was a penalty as well."