After what has arguably been the most gruelling period in the club’s history, Cardiff City finally have a chance to stop, rest and reflect with the team not in action during next weekend’s FA Cup fifth-round programme.
Among those to have felt the weight of sadness most heavily following the Emiliano Sala tragedy is Neil Warnock, the manager, who has rejected the chance to take his squad away on a warm-weather training camp.
“The club gave me permission to fly out to Tenerife, to take them all for four days, but after what’s happened over the past two weeks, I’d rather cuddle my kids and see my missus because it’s been a long two weeks,” said the 70-year-old.
“I’ve never known anything like this in my life and I’ve seen most things. They’ll all be reflecting on what’s happened and I think your family is more important than football, isn’t it? They are all booking different flights and some of them aren’t going anywhere. I’m going somewhere near Swansea for two nights.”
In a quieter moment, Warnock will at least be able to reflect on back-to-back top-flight victories for Cardiff, a feat last achieved in 1962, which has given them a real chance of survival.
“When you get to my age, you don’t worry too much, really. You don’t know what’s around the corner, especially what’s happened around here the last two weeks,” Warnock said, before adding that he would deserve two manager-of-the-year awards if he keeps the club in the Premier League.