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Warnock hit out at Southgates 'favour to Pearce'

In the wake of our 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough which kept our six point gap over Charlton intact, and in the process dragged several other teams back into the relegation mix, Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock has accused Gareth Southgate manager of giving a favour to Stuart Pearce because of the friendship they have.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Warnock ranted:

"Personally I think it is a disgrace. I know Stuart is a
friend of Gareth Southgate's and I know they've got Manchester United, but I'd
love to see them lose the next six games....I think it's scandalous and I don't
think a club like Middlesbrough should disrespect Sheffield United or Charlton
or anyone else scrapping for their lives.
"I'm absolutely disgusted to say
the least. Take those three out of the team and they are a shadow."

With West Ham on the horizon, Warnock even speculated that Southgate could decide to rest key players against West Ham this weekend to aid Alan Curbishley's bid for survival:

"They play West Ham on Saturday, that's another pal of his,
so they'll probably not bother there. How he imagines us not to be disappointed
I don't know, and I'm sure Alan Pardew feels the same".

Whilst there is no doubt that we were helped by the absence of Viduka, Yakubu and Woodgate, maybe Warnock is looking to deflect a little attention away from the current plight of his own side, whose recent form has seen them sink like a stone to now look the most likely of the sides at the bottom to be leapfrogged by the bottom three.

Southgate is entitled to play whichever players he feels, and to suggest he saw fit to aid our survival bid as a 'favour' to a friend is ridiculous. Perhaps Warnock would be better served looking at the administrators who decided to schedule FA Cup replays 48 hours after a Saturday fixture to aid England's Euro 2008 campaign.

Remember last season, did Stuart Pearce do a 'favour' for Paul Jewell ahead of our FA Cup tie against West Ham, or (as entitled to do so) did he rest players ahead of a game which was then (as Middlesbrough's game is now) the most important remaining one of the season?

Many people seem to feel Warnock's 'honesty' is refreshing in the Premiership this season, but at times he comes across as a man on a mission to rail against all and sundry who he believes are targetting him and his club.

And with this new instance, it only comes across as the paranoid ranting of a manager whose side are now seriously under pressure down at the bottom of the table.