Northern Echo

Sheyi Ojo denied Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock a winning Cardiff return in a fiercely contested 1-1 Sky Bet Championship draw.

Warnock spent three years in charge of Cardiff – winning promotion to the Premier League in 2018 – before leaving the Bluebirds last November and making Middlesbrough the 16th different club he has managed.

The 71-year-old thought he might have had a happy return in the Welsh capital when George Saville struck for the second successive game, but Ojo equalised in a crowded penalty area 20 minutes from time.

Gazette/Teesside Live

Given this fixture's history, the wise money would have been on a 1-0 scoreline. That's the way it finished the last five times these sides have met in Wales. And for a while on Saturday afternoon, it looked likely again.

That was until Sheyi Ojo struck in the second half to cancel out George Saville's first half opener, the battle between Neil Warnock's current and former side ending in a draw. 

On paper, that's another fine result at the end of a gruelling week for Boro. Indeed, in the build-up to this game, Warnock admitted he'd have snapped your hand off if he'd been offered four points out of nine before the games against Reading, Bristol City and the Bluebirds.

So to get five is a bonus.

Neil Warnock's post-match reaction


Warnock admitted before this match it would have been an emotional occasion had the fans been able to attend so, at an empty ground, he could concentrate on trying to beat a Cardiff side he helped build.

It was the kind of match for which Warnock has become renowned over the course of his long career: physical, occasionally ill-tempered and with the ball spending most of its time in the air.

On the rare occasions it stayed on the ground, Cardiff created most opportunities, with Moore, Harry Wilson and Josh Murphy all going close.

But in true Warnock style, his team absorbed that pressure and made their one attack of the first half count, with Saville heading in from Marcus Tavernier's corner.

Sunday Times

Boro are made of stern stuff and they weathered the proverbial storm as the rain abated and they took the lead when George Saville scored for the second time in two games.

It was a trademark Warnock goal, coming as it did at a set-piece, when Saville wriggled free of his marker to expertly nod Marcus Tavernier’s delivery beyond Alex Smithies and Boro had a 36th-minute lead.

Wales Online

Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock claims Cardiff City's style of football hasn't changed under successor Neil Harris.

Warnock, now in change of Middlesbrough, returned to Cardiff City Stadium for the first time since leaving the Bluebirds last year, and watched on as his side were held to a 1-1 draw.

When he was unveiled as the new City boss back in November, Harris denied that he would be 'Warnock mark II', but Warnock himself isn't convinced the Bluebirds have deviated too much from the direct style of football that had it's fair share of critics despite bringing success.

Speaking after the game, Warnock said: "They are the best physical side and the towel's round the side with every throw-in. We defended really well. We've done a thousand miles this week and the Middlesbrough fans should be proud of those players. We've responded in those three games."