Warnock: Send moron to prison
Neil Warnock has demanded a jail sentence for the "moron" who attacked Chris Kirkland in Leeds United's 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
The Wednesday goalkeeper was shoved in the face by a Leeds fan in the aftermath of Michael Tonge's late equaliser and needed treatment before completing the draw at Hillsborough.
Leeds immediately issued a club statement condemning the supporter's actions, and Warnock went further in his post-match interview with Sky Sports.
He said: "I felt embarrassed to be a manager, it was an absolute disgrace. I think they should get the guy, prosecute him, and put him in prison. There's no place at all for that.
"Listen, he (Kirkland) went down like a ton of bricks, but that doesn't make a difference. There's no way he should be on the pitch doing that, I hope we can make an absolute issue of it.
"It spoilt everything for everybody. When I see a moron like that I'm not proud to be Leeds manager. I don't mind the rivalry - elbows flying, penalties missed by the referee - but to see things like that...I'm absolutely embarrassed.
"They had enough security men, but if you've got a person like him with what must be a five-year-old's mentality then you can't stop it."
Warnock instructed his players to salute the travelling fans at the final whistle - much to the disgust of opposite number Dave Jones, who highlighted offensive chanting from the Leeds end.
Warnock said: "Dave was saying we shouldn't thank the crowd but our crowd were fantastic. All of them apart from one moron were excellent."
Jones called for Leeds fans to be banned from "every away ground" after the trouble and unsavoury chanting marred the night.
A large number of the Leeds fans housed in the Leppings Lane End sang about the child abuse charges which were dropped against Jones, while former broadcaster Sir Jimmy Savile, now the subject of a similar police investigation, seemed to be heralded in song.
The Wednesday fans also stoked things up with songs about the two Leeds fans killed in Turkey in April 2000, with the Leeds supporters responding by throwing bottles onto the field and clashing with police.
"They are vile animals," Jones said. "You talk about racism, the chanting, that's a form of racism. And then (for the Leeds players) to go and wave at them... not in my book. You don't wave at them after that.
"I thought it had gone out of our game. The authorities have to look at it and sort it. I'm talking about an incident when we should be talking about the football. We're talking about vile animals. That's what they are. We talk about racism, but that, we need to sort that."
Leeds issued a statement after the game pledging to hunt down the man involved in the Kirkland incident.
It read: "Leeds United Football Club would like to publicly apologise and condemn the action of the fan who came on the pitch and attacked Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland. The club will fully co-operate with the police and the football authorities in identifying the individual concerned.
"After the week football has endured there is no place for this type of behaviour and the majority of Leeds supporters will be ashamed of his actions."
Kirkland carried on after receiving treatment, with Jones adding: "He's sore. If he'd have stayed down, I wonder what would have happened. I have an ill goalkeeper. They should be punished."
Jones went on to criticise opposite number Warnock for allowing his players to clap the fans at the end of a game which finished 1-1, adding: "We talk about morals and they go and wave at them..."
Refusing to accept just one Leeds fan had been in the wrong , regarding the chants which rang out midway through the first half, Jones said: "It wasn't just one chanting. That was from their area too. I've had it for 12 years. It's just upsetting that they're allowed to do it. They should be banned from every away ground."
In his initial comments given to Sky Sports after the match, Warnock had said he felt Kirkland had gone down too easily, but in his post-match press conference, he stood by his club's statement and called on the culprit to be jailed.
"It's just so sad and disappointing. If anything it stopped us winning the game. I thought at 1-1 we would get in the driving seat and that made everyone... for one moron," he said.
"The club has made a statement and I'm pleased, we don't condone that. I hope the authorities and constabulary take the appropriate action."
Having sensed a tense atmosphere in the first half, Warnock also claimed to have asked police if they wanted him to address Leeds' fans in order to calm tempers.
"There were some early on, they (the fans) went towards each other, the police said they didn't think it would be right. It looked to me.... I was disappointed in certain aspects of being manager tonight when things like that happen," he said.
"I did say to the police, in the first half, did they want me to go over and calm them down but they said that might inflame it even more."
He did not agree with Jones' assessment that he was in the wrong to send his players to clap the travelling fans, though.
He said: "I disagree, Dave is disappointed with not winning the game. I understand his feelings being a manager, it's a pressure game, he felt they could have won it.
"Leeds United coming was the best thing that could have happened to him, if it was a lesser team coming, on the run that they're on, it would have been very difficult, but the crowd lifted them."