Sala identification will bring his family peace – Warnock

By Sports Desk February 08, 2019

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock believes Emiliano Sala's family finally have peace after confirmation that the body recovered from a plane wreckage in the English Channel was that of the striker.

The UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch confirmed on Wednesday that a body had been passed to the Dorset Coroner, having been recovered with the help of specialist contractors, and it was identified as Sala a day later.

The Piper Malibu aircraft disappeared with Sala and pilot David Ibbotson aboard on January 21, with the 28-year-old en route to Cardiff having completed a club-record transfer from Ligue 1 side Nantes.

Tributes have been paid to the striker from across the world of football since the news broke on Thursday, which has had a warming impact on Warnock, and he is relieved Sala's family finally have some closure.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Warnock said: "While everybody expects the worst when it happens, I got a phone call last night and it was strange.

"It brings the family peace, offers them comfort – that's what Sharon [Warnock's wife] said from the start. I don't know how it's affected the players, one or two have always been a little sensitive.

"When I think I've seen it all in football, our fans keep surprising me every week now. I don't think there's anything that would surprise me with them, and the Arsenal fans, Bournemouth fans, fans from clubs all over.

"When something like this happens it brings all the football family together. It shows that everybody is thinking on the same wavelength and it's a loss to everyone in football.

"When you look at the finances they were able to raise [via crowdfunding] to enable the search in the first place, I found that amazing. The response has been unbelievable.

"That might have surprised everyone. To get that response is just amazing, and I'm sure anybody in the circumstances would have done that. It shows football isn't all bad news, hooliganism and everything else.

"I don't think I have to mention Emiliano [in his pre-Southampton team talk]. The tributes will have an impact. I've asked the Premier League if we can wear shirts with the daffodils and I'm sure they'll allow that.

"I wanted to mention David [Ibbotson, the pilot]. I'm sure his family will be going through hell. Our thoughts are with him and his family."

After Sala's disappearance was first confirmed, Warnock suggested the matter had made him consider his future as a manager, however he says his comments were blown out of proportion.

"I think that was a little bit over the top," he said. "As always, you get certain tabloids creating stories - but I went in the local paper and put that to bed.

"Anybody that saw us play the last couple of games will know we're up for it. It's a challenge we want to face head-on."

Related items

  • Wijnaldum forced off ahead of Liverpool's Club World Cup trip Wijnaldum forced off ahead of Liverpool's Club World Cup trip

    Liverpool's injury problems worsened ahead of the Club World Cup as Georginio Wijnaldum was forced off with an apparent hamstring problem in the second half of Saturday's Premier League clash with Watford.

    Already missing Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Fabinho amid a hectic run of fixtures, Jurgen Klopp saw Wijnaldum pull up lame early in the second half on Saturday, with the Reds a goal to the good.

    Wijnaldum was unable to continue after brief on-field treatment and limped off to be replaced by Andy Robertson, with James Milner switching from left-back to midfield.

    Liverpool will head to Qatar after the Watford game for two Club World Cup fixtures, starting with a semi-final contest on Wednesday. It now remains to be seen whether Wijnaldum will be fit for that trip.

    The runaway Premier League leaders then face second-placed Leicester City on Boxing Day in a key domestic contest.

  • Rashford, Martial and James' fluidity like Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez - Solskjaer Rashford, Martial and James' fluidity like Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez - Solskjaer

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer compared Manchester United's current strike force to the combination of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez as he hailed the versatility of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James.

    Rashford and Martial were on target as United beat Manchester City in last weekend's derby at the Etihad Stadium, and Solskjaer believes the young England forward is showing signs he can follow in the footsteps of five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo.

    Solskjaer and Ronaldo spent four years together as players at Old Trafford, before the Norwegian worked with his former team-mate as a forwards coach, and few people are better placed to compare the Juventus star with Rashford.

    Speaking about the fluid movement and interchanging positional play of Rashford, Martial and James, Solskjaer told Sky Sports: "I think that's a big strength of ours as a team.

    "If Marcus runs in behind, Anthony will get some space because it stretches the opponent. It can be the opposite way around too, with Anthony and Dan running in behind and Marcus coming to feet to get on the ball.

    "I see this attack as being quite similar to the one we had with Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez, with the interchanging of positions and the fast, flowing football."

    Under Solskjaer, Rashford has equalled his best Premier League goal return in a single season within the first half of the 2019-20 campaign.

    Rashford's 10th league goal of the season came from the penalty spot against City and Solskjaer praised the 22-year-old's versatility while drawing comparisons with Ronaldo, who played on the wing and as a striker during his time in Manchester.

    "Of course it's hard to say with certainty that he's going to be as good as Cristiano, but you can see the similarities more and more in terms of Marcus' traits on the pitch," said Solskjaer.

    "He can play through the middle, he can play as a number nine, he can cut inside from the left and finish. He can even play on the right, as Cristiano did when he came here. He's got the same physical stature and more or less all of his attributes are very, very similar. Even their stats are similar, in terms of goals scored after a certain amount of games."

    "You have to remember that, as well as playing with Cristiano, I coached him in my first year as a forwards coach here," he added.

    "Both players are very professional, very dedicated, very in love with football. And you can see that Marcus is getting more of a taste for that now, both with us and with England. He is pushing himself and seeing the results."

  • Juventus defender De Sciglio eyes Premier League challenge in Champions League last 16 Juventus defender De Sciglio eyes Premier League challenge in Champions League last 16

    Mattia De Sciglio hopes Juventus draw an English club in the Champions League last 16 after getting a taste of the Premier League two seasons ago.

    Juve battled to a 4-3 aggregate victory over Tottenham in the first knockout round in 2017-18 after settling for a 2-2 draw in the opening encounter in Turin.

    The Serie A champions eventually lost out to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals and had their hopes dashed by Ajax at the same stage last term.

    Maurizio Sarri's men will expect to go further after topping Group D and defender De Sciglio said he now wants to face either of their two possible English opponents, Spurs or Chelsea.

    "If you want to get to the end of the competition, sooner or later you have to meet all the strongest opponents," the Italy international told Sky Sport Italia.

    "Personally I'd like to play against an English team, like we did two years ago, because it's nice to play against them."

    The draw for the last 16 takes place in Nyon on Monday.

    Before then, Juve must negotiate Sunday's Serie A home game against struggling Udinese.

    The Bianconeri, 2-0 winners at Bayer Leverkusen in midweek, drew with Sassuolo and lost to Lazio in the two fixtures that followed their previous European engagements.

    "It's true that we have had some difficulties after Champions League matches, but so far we have lost only once in the league and we are right there, attached to Inter," De Sciglio said.

    "Udinese will be another tough game. There are no easy games in Serie A. But if we play like Juve, we will take the three points."

    Juve sit two points behind leaders Inter, who visit Fiorentina on Sunday.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.