Leicester City: Neil Warnock initially wanted visit to Cardiff City postponed

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Sport Wales

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock admits he did not want their match against Leicester to go ahead initially - but says they are now fully supportive of the decision.

Saturday's game will be the Foxes' first since their owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others were killed in a helicopter crash.

Warnock says football can seem "irrelevant" at times like these but hopes the match can help Leicester.

"It's been difficult," he said.

"It's like anything else in life, some lads can cope with tragedies and some find it very difficult.

"It has not been straightforward this week, I haven't had a week like it before.

"Originally I didn't think the game would go ahead and if I'm totally honest I was hoping it wasn't going to go ahead. Monday and Tuesday this week, it was too emotional.

"But I understand now where they are and I think it's a good decision to go ahead with it now because you've got to move on and you've got to get people back to normality as soon as possible.

"I think Vichai would have wanted that as well, he wanted his lads to play football. I think it's the right decision for everyone."

Leicester manager Claude Puel has said the result at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday is "not important".

Tuesday's Carabao Cup tie between the Foxes and Southampton at King Power Stadium was postponed in the aftermath of the crash, and has been rearranged for Tuesday, 27 November.

But after consulting Srivaddhanaprabha's family and the Leicester's players, the club decided to press on with Saturday's fixture at Cardiff.

'There will be tributes'

All Premier League matches this weekend will be preceded by a minute's silence, and players will wear black armbands.

"There will be tributes. Our chairman wanted to do a tribute from Vincent [Tan, Cardiff's owner] and everyone at the club, we'll be having the minute's silence together, the chairman is going to lay a wreath and there will be moments to reflect for everyone," Warnock added.

"And then somehow the two teams have got to get on with a game of football. It's an important game for us and Leicester but it is a game of football.

"It seems irrelevant talking about the game compared to the bigger things that have happened this week.

"I don't know what to expect from us or them. You'd probably have to ask me after the game. I haven't got a clue what to expect."

Cardiff's squad features two former Leicester players, Sol Bamba and Lee Peltier, with the former likely to start in central defence on Saturday.

"I spoke to him [Bamba] yesterday about the situation but it wasn't just Sol, it was everybody," said Warnock.

"It was surreal last weekend, we were just landing from Liverpool - we flew to Liverpool - and the news came round and it was just an eerie situation for everyone. I've not really felt like that before.

"Our players were visibly shocked. It was a hell of a day for me what with Glenn Hoddle (the former England international who suffered a heart attack) earlier in the day. Life is on such a slender edge and you sometimes take things for granted.

"I know it's just a football match and it puts things into perspective, promotion and relegation and all that.

"I think if I'd been the manager of Leicester, I'd have wanted the lads to play to get their mind on other things because it's such turmoil. The whole football community have felt the shock and everything that's gone with it."

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