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'Try not to breathe on them!' - Warnock warns Cardiff players of diving superstars

10:06 GMT 01/01/2019
Neil Warnock Cardiff City 2018-19
Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah are among those to have been criticised for over-dramatic falls in recent weeks, and the Bluebirds boss is not impressed

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock has spoken out in criticism of a perceived culture of diving in the Premier League.

The Bluebirds face Tottenham on New Year’s Day, and could move six points clear of danger with a win.

But speaking ahead of the match, Warnock was quick to condemn players who try to fool referees with simulation.

Mohamed Salah was criticised for winning penalties in both of Liverpool's recent wins over Newcastle and Arsenal with dramatic falls to the ground.

Meanwhile Spurs captain Harry Kane was booked for diving in his side’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Wolves on Saturday, and Warnock's comments come as a thinly veiled critique of that incident.

As quoted in the Evening Standard , Warnock said: “It's so difficult to see diving, you can't blame referees.

“I say to my players about the top players 'try not to breathe on them’.

“I said that before the Manchester United game, if they get in the box ‘Don't breathe on them at all’ because they'll be down.

“That's how it is nowadays.”

Warnock’s comments are not the first time he has come into conflict with Kane, with the pair clashing during Tottenham’s victory in the reverse fixture between the two sides at Wembley earlier in the season.

In that incident, Warnock took exception to the England captain’s eagerness to pressurise the referee into sending off Cardiff midfielder Joe Ralls for a dangerous challenge on Spurs forward Lucas Moura.

Warnock was caught on camera expressing an expletive-laden appraisal of Kane’s actions, but suggested cheekily in the aftermath that his lips had been misread.

He did, however, back up his disgruntlement, saying: “England player, going off like that? Dear me…He went straight in and pushed him, so why not give him a red card.”

Spurs will be looking to return to winning ways after that shock defeat to Wolves at the weekend - a result that left them nine points adrift of league leaders Liverpool in third place.

Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping that he can rely on Kane to provide the firepower needed to overcome the Bluebirds, who themselves recorded a last gasp 1-0 over in form Leicester City on Saturday.

The 25-year-old striker has scored 15 goals in his last 11 games against newly promoted sides.