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Warnock On His Greatest Cup Success And His Matador!

Neil Warnock on the midweek cup success, team spirit and El-Hadji Diouf.

Paul Thomas - Getty Images

Neil Warnock was delighted with his sides 2-1 win over Everton on Tuesday night, so much so that he believes it was his greatest ever cup success.

"It was up there with the best results I've ever had in the cup with the circumstances.

They had a strong team out and wanted to win but we were better on the night. Overall it was a great night.

I was so pleased with our players. I'd have been very surprised if they hadn't watched it again when they got home."

It even eclipsed Warnock's cup wins at Sheffield United when his side twice beat Leeds.

"When we played Leeds that season they were weak. It was two late goals in the League Cup and in the FA Cup I was surprised because Leeds never came at us at all.

We had a couple of great cup runs that year at Sheffield United, but with so many injuries and Everton being such a good side, Tuesday's result is up there. I think we surprised quite a few people."

The win caps off an excellent 180 minutes for United who were also underdogs during their win over Nottingham Forest last weekend.

"I'd said all week about Forest being favourites.

I did it on purpose to take some of the pressure off because I knew we would have a few youngsters in and we wanted big performances from our big players. I thought we did that and it brought everybody together.

This division is wide open. I've not seen Brighton play, but they're going really well. Blackpool we know about, even though they lost on Monday, and we've played six of the top seven.

Last weekend you saw a subs bench worth £5m and we coped with that. Money is important to bring quality in but you still need the performances as well."

Meanwhile the manager is loving his unlikely relationship with his 'matador' El-Hadji Diouf.

"He promised me certain things and I'm happy with that.

He won't get a stage like this again. He's a matador. It's no good going to Saudi Arabia or Dubai or wherever he was going for six or seven times the wages. This is his stage.

He's been as good as his word with me and I have with him. I said if I can get him fit he'll be surprised how good he can be and he's nearly there. To go 90 minutes like he did on Tuesday...

I said to him the other day: 'Do you want to play in the cup? Because you and Beccs could have a rest.' Beccs overheard me talking and Dioufy said 'I want to play' and Beccs said 'I want to play.' I said we'd give them an hour and if we were losing they could come off, but they stayed on for the full game. The dressing room is excellent."