Rondon tells Magpies to push on

Newcastle United striker Salomon Rondon has challenged his side to continue the good work they showed in a 3-0 victory over Cardiff City on Saturday.

The Magpies had gone four league games without a win before overwhelming the Bluebirds, with the result seeing Newcastle move out of the relegation places at the expense of their visitors.

And Rondon was pleased to play his part, despite not being able to find the net himself.

He told his club's official website: "We have to keep going, keep winning and carry on. Every game in the Premier League is tough, and we know in the next couple of games we will play against great teams with great players.

"But we have to think about us and our confidence. We have to play like we played today. Thinking about our team and our strengths – that's the most important thing."

Meanwhile, Magpies boss Rafa Benitez was more than happy with the performance of his players in their most comprehensive win of the season to date.

He added: "We were talking about how important this game could be, but we will have a lot of games against teams that are close to us and these are the key games when you can play well and you can win, or even without playing well, you can get something.

"Today we did it, we played well, we had a lot of energy and commitment from everyone and it was crucial."

Newcastle are now priced at 1/6 not to be relegated this season, with the Magpies 4/1 to drop down to the Championship.

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Warnock lands loanee Niasse

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock has added another attacking option to his squad by signing Everton striker Oumar Niasse on loan until the end of the season.

The 28-year-old Senegal international has made five Premier League appearances as a substitute for the Toffees this season, having only featured once since late September.

And Niasse is looking forward to a fresh challenge, with an option in place for a permanent deal if both parties are satisfied come the summer.

He told his new clubs official website: "I'm really pleased to be at Cardiff City. Having heard about the manager from other players and met him, I knew this was the right move for me.

"Other clubs were interested, but I was convinced that this was where I wanted to come. I can't wait to get started."

Meanwhile, Warnock confirmed that he had spoken to former Sheffield United charge Phil Jagielka about Niasse, with both players on the periphery at Goodison Park.

The City boss added: "Phil said he's my type of player and that he would do well for us, the way that he plays. When I'm looking to improve the squad there's not many players available on loan."

Niasse joined Everton just under three years ago from Lokomotiv Moscow and has scored nine goals in 39 appearances in all competitions for the Merseysiders, having spent the second half of the 2016/17 season on loan with Hull City.

The Bluebirds face a crunch clash with Newcastle United at St James' Park on Saturday, with City12/5  to earn a draw on Tyneside, with a 1-1 draw priced at 11/2 and a goalless final scoreline 7/1.

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Striker a must for Warnock

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock has confirmed that signing a new striker remains his top priority before the January transfer window slams shut.

The Bluebirds have scored 19 goals in 21 Premier League games played so far this season, with Warnock admitting that more firepower will be needed to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

He told reporters: "I'd still like another striker, even with the lads that are here. We're very thin on the ground in that area and we've got to try and get more goals into the team.

"Clubs and players are always trying to get the best deal, while the same clubs are chasing the same players.

"You've got to work hard to try and get signings, but the games are also important. I imagine (it will go down to deadline day), that is the way it is looking at the moment."

Callum Paterson, with four, is the leading scorer for City in the top-flight so far this season, with Victor Camarasa and Josh Murphy having both netted three times.

Next up for the Bluebirds is a crunch showdown with rock-bottom Huddersfield Town at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday, with the two side shaving played out a goalless draw in West Yorkshire earlier this season.

The hosts are 13/10 to win the game and are 11/2 to do so by a 1-0 scoreline, with Cardiff 1/1 not to be relegated come the end of the season.

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Warnock rues missed chances

Neil Warnock accepts that his Cardiff City outfit have to be clinical in front of goal to be able to steer clear of the Premier League relegation battle in the coming months.

Warnock was speaking after seeing his side miss a host of chances in a 1-0 FA Cup third-round defeat at Gillingham, with the Bluebirds boss only too well aware of the main problem facing his players.

He told reporters: "You need a bit of luck in the Cup and we had so many chances, but it looked like nobody wanted to score. I've never seen so many chances.

"The FA Cup is all about taking your opportunities – I'm just hoping we saved ours for the league games.

"Somebody told me this week that we've only been ahead for 94 minutes this season. Can you imagine what it's like to be the manager of a club that's only been ahead for that long, with the amount of games we've had?

"It's a nightmare to be in charge and we don't get any respite, we've got to put up with it and get on with it.

"I've never seen so many straightforward chances missed – I don't know why they hesitated time after time – but that's football sometimes."

Cardiff return to league action next Saturday when they play host to rock-bottom Huddersfield Town.

The home side are 6/5 to win the game and 11/2 to do so by a 1-0 scoreline, with the Bluebirds 10/11 not to be relegated come the end of the season.

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Warnock boosted by City upturn

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock says his job of trying to recruit new players in the January transfer window has been helped by recent positive results.

The Bluebirds have picked up seven points from their last five Premier League games to move clear of the relegation zone, with the Bluebirds currently three points above the safety mark.

And that position has made life a little easier for Warnock, who remains realistic about being able to add to his squad over the next month.

He told reporters: "I'm not confident at all (of signing new players) as it is so difficult in January, but it's better for me when we have had a couple of results that we have had.

"It is easier talking to players when you are not bottom of the league. We can try and convince them we have a chance of staying up and ask them to come and help us out.

"It is far better for me to talk to players in that situation and if you look at the club and the crowds that are following us, it is an appealing place to come to."

City are back in action on New Year's Day when they play host to high-flying Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino warning his players that they are in for a hard time in South Wales.

He told his club's official website: "It's going to be tough, Cardiff are a tough team to play against. We need to be prepared for a big battle and were looking forward to it."

Tottenham are 9/20 to claim victory at the Cardiff City Stadium and are 8/1 to win by a 2-1 scoreline, with Christian Eriksen available at 21/10 to score at any time in the game.

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Mendy calling for Foxes focus

Leicester City midfielder Nampalys Mendy has urged his team-mates to stay calm and focus fully on trying to get back on track against Everton at Goodison Park.

The Foxes lost 1-0 at home to Cardiff City last time out, having previously claimed superb victories over Manchester City and Chelsea in their previous two Premier League games.

And Mendy says it is not the time to get too carried away by the setback at the hands of the Bluebirds, but instead refocus on the task in hand against the Toffees.

He told the club's official website: "Now we have to stay focused because we have a big game against Everton.

"It's a chance to recover quickly and to stay calm, because we have a lot of games. We must stay calm, not panic and (be) confident for the next game."

Meanwhile, Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has called on his side to be at their best against Leicester, with the Toffees having only won one of their last seven league games.

The England international told his club's official website: "I think we are playing well, we're gelling well – we just need to start getting that consistency.

"Leicester are a tough side. We won at their place, so they'll be trying to get a bit of revenge, but we've just got to bring our A-game, recover well and hopefully get three points."

Everton can be backed at 21/20 to secure a victory over the Foxes on New Year's Day, with a 1-1 draw available at 6/1, while the Toffees are 13/8 to keep a clean sheet for the first time in eight games.

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Warnock hails improving Cardiff

Neil Warnock claims his Cardiff side have "improved so much" this season after their 1-0 Premier League win at Leicester on Saturday.

The Bluebirds endured a difficult return to the top flight earlier in the campaign following their automatic promotion from the Championship last season.

However, having won four times in front of their own fans, Victor Camarasa's 25-yard effort in the second minute of stoppage time at the King Power Stadium sealed a first victory on the road to move them four points clear of the relegation places.

The goal came moments after Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge saved a James Maddison penalty and Warnock claims his players got their just deserts.

"It's the best day since we've been back in the Premier League," he said. "It's the best performance of the season, by an absolute mile. Defensively I thought we were outstanding.

"There are a few teams down there who didn't expect to be. That's difficult mentally. We've always known we would be down there.

"I thought we deserved to win. We limited them. If we'd have been precise in the final third we could have scored three or four.

"I'm really proud how they put their bodies on the line. We've come along way, we've improved so much since the start of the season."

Cardiff are 4/5 to stay up this season, while they are priced at 1/1 to be relegated.

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Warnock ends Sala interest

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock has admitted that he has no intention of reviving his interest in Nantes striker Emiliano Sala.

The French club have rejected a bid by the Bluebirds for the 28-year-old Argentine forward but Warnock will look elsewhere to increase his strike options rather than increase his offer for the player.

Callum Paterson and Kenneth Zohore are both currently sidelined, but Warnock would only say: "We did originally (make an offer) but that was turned down and we haven't been back since.

"We won't have a gun pointed to our head figures-wise. Sala's a good player but there's no guarantee he is going to come and rip the Premier League up. It's a different standard."

Former Bordeaux star Sala has scored 13 goals in 18 games for Nantes so far this season and is reportedly valued at £25million.

Cardiff have only scored 18 goals in 19 league games this season and are 8/11 to be relegated after drawing 0-0 at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.

Warnock's team are 5/1 to win at Leicester City on Saturday and 10/1 to draw 0-0 with the Foxes, who have beaten Chelsea and Manchester City in their last two fixtures.

"Ken Zohore could be out for a few weeks – he has pulled his thigh muscle which is a shame because I wanted to play him (at Crystal Palace)," Warnock added.

"I wanted to see if he was going to play like he has trained in the last few weeks. He has worked so hard so it's really disappointing for Ken and for us."

Solskjaer makes top-four claim

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is refusing to rule out a top-four Premier League finish for Manchester United after their 5-1 win at Cardiff in his first game in charge.

The 45-year-old former Red Devils' striker was drafted in on an interim deal until the end of the season earlier in the week after Jose Mourinho was sacked.

And, Solskjaer made the ideal start as goals from Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera, Anthony Martial and a brace from Jesse Lingard saw United hit five goals for the first time in five-and-a-half years – Sir Alex Ferguson's final game in charge at West Brom.

On the performance, the Norwegian said: "The attitude and application of the boys when you go out there and see them, the attitude has been fantastic, the dressing room, the way they approached this game.

"It's been a difficult week for everyone and to get the focus and perform as well as they did impress."

United remain in sixth position and are well off the pace in their bid to finish in a top-four spot which would ensure Champions League football, but Solskjaer is not ruling it out.

"Well, we'll take one game at a time but we're eight points behind and we've caught up teams before at this club," he added. "Now, though, we've got to catch up a couple, but our job is to take one game at a time.

"Don't look too far ahead but we always play well in second half of the season. Man United teams always do."

United, who are 5/1 to finish in the top four, are priced at 1/5 to make it two wins in two for Solskjaer on Boxing Day when struggling Huddersfield visit Old Trafford. The Terriers are 14/1 to win and the draw is 5/1.

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Warnock: City must keep going

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock believes it is vital that his side continue to impress on home turf, having won three in a row at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The Bluebirds have lifted themselves out of the Premier League bottom three thanks to victories over Brighton, Wolves and Southampton, although Warnock is only too aware that their next two home games could be even tougher.

Manchester United are the visitors on Saturday, while New Year's Day sees Tottenham Hotspur make the journey to South Wales.

Warnock told reporters: "We're very disappointed we haven't got more points, at least seven or eight points, but it's not for the lack of trying.

"We've got to keep going, our home form is important when you look at home games, probably against Manchester United or Tottenham, you're not going to guarantee points – but I do think anything is possible at home."

Cardiff are 11/2 to defeat the Red Devils on Saturday and are 16/5 to secure a draw, with a 1-1 final scoreline available at 7/1.

Meanwhile, Warnock also admitted that the hunt for potential new recruits for the January transfer window is proving to be a time-consuming effort.

He added: "We've looked at so many now I'm almost dizzy. It's difficult, we agreed a fee with a club, but they came back and put another couple of million on top.

"I don't think we're going to be held to ransom, if that's the case we'll stick with what we've got."

City continue to be strongly linked with Argentinian striker Emiliano Sala, who has scored 12 goals in 15 Ligue 1 appearances for Nantes this season.

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