Emiliano Sala: Neil Warnock reveals to talkSPORT how the death of Cardiff City’s record signing affected the Bluebirds


The Argentine was tragically killed in a plane crash after completing a £15million move from Nantes

Neil Warnock has admitted the tragic death of Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala has galvanised the club.

The striker, who signed from Nantes for a record £15million in January, was on board a plane which crashed into the English Channel.

The poignant tributes to Emiliano Sala outside the Cardiff City stadium

After a desperate search for both the Argentine and pilot David Ibbotson, Sala’s body was discovered, but Ibbotson is still yet to be found.

An emotional home victory against Bournemouth was followed up a late win at Southampton, to take the Bluebirds further away from the relegation zone.

Despite the horrific events, Warnock revealed on Drivetime he still thinks about Sala’s family and the profound effect he managed to have without even playing a game.

He said: “You wake up and you don’t think about anything else, other than the boy and his family.

Sala’s body was recovered after the crash

Sala’s body was recovered after the crash

“It is so strange that football almost becomes irrelevant at times.

“It’s one of those things that you’re almost looking on from a distance and it was nice to get back playing, I must admit.

“It was something to take your mind off of everything that was going on.

“When you’ve got a group of boys like I’ve got, and fans like I’ve got, it doesn’t half help you when you’re in this situation.

Bobby Reid holds up a t-shirt paying tribute to Sala after scoring against Bournemouth

Bobby Reid holds up a t-shirt paying tribute to Sala after scoring against Bournemouth

“I just think it does bring you together, I think everyone looks at everybody around the dressing room and it could have been any of us.

“I think that’s the eerie part about it all, I think when you look at his family and the way they’ve been super and taken it on board and the mourning.

“And, when it first happened, one or two of the lads took it really badly – especially a couple of the young lads.

“Because it doesn’t happen, things like this don’t happen. It’s like, whatever comes along next you have to do deal with it.”

The Bluebirds have taken Sala to their hearts

The Bluebirds have taken Sala to their hearts

Kenneth Zohore’s late winner at St Mary’s prompted emotional celebrations with the ecstatic players and the travelling Bluebirds in the away end.

With tributes still pouring in and a temporary memorial placed outside the club’s stadium, Warnock heaped praise on the fans who raised awareness across the globe.

“It just seemed surreal,” he added. “It just seemed like it wasn’t happening.”

“It has been so traumatic but the fans…I’ve never heard anything like it.

“I get criticised because every club I go to people say I tend to say that about all of them.

“But these have been exceptional, the fans here.”

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