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Joe Ralls’ Job Goes To Victor Camarasa As Cardiff City Fail Again To Back Up Their Home Form

Joe Ralls will be replaced by Victor Camarasa as Cardiff City’s penalty taker following the costly miss during the Bluebirds’ 3-1 defeat at West Ham on Tuesday night.

Ralls’ poorly-struck spot-kick was comfortably saved by former Swansea City goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski when the game was scoreless before the Hammers went on to score three times in 12 minutes just after the break.

Cardiff manager Neil Warnock was loath to criticise Ralls too harshly, but confirmed that the job would now be done by Camarasa in future after the Spaniard had lobbied to take the kick at the London Stadium.

“Victor was desperate to take it, but Joe was last season’s penalty taker,” said Warnock.

“Camarasa will take the next one, though . . .  if we get one, because we thought Sean Morrison was man-handled in the penalty box, also.

“That was a certain penalty and the referee was in a good position for that.

“Penalties are there to be scored. No disrespect to Joe, because it takes guts to take a penalty, but I just felt the crows were turning at that point and then we made it easy for them.”

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A defiant Warnock remains confident Cardiff can pick up points to survive in the Premier League despite another away defeat.

Cardiff have still managed just a single point on the road this season and their three recent home victories have all now been followed by away defeats.

It means any momentum from the victories has been short-lived and it piles all the pressure on the team to maximise their points opportunities in front of their own fans. They host fellow strugglers Southampton on Saturday.

But Warnock added: “Tonight showed we can win away games from home. I pulled Manuel Pellegrini in the technical area and said: ‘how can we be losing 3-0?’ – it was a mad 12 minutes, then the penalty miss.

“If that goes in then you could sense the crowd were beginning to think it wasn’t going their way. I refuse to criticise Ralls – he’ll get some stick from the fans but it takes guts to take a penalty. I can’t even watch one. I wouldn’t criticise him.”

Cardiff capitulated in a clumsy 12-minute period after the break where Lucas Perez netted twice and Michail Antonio headed home unchallenged for a corner.

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Despite being proud of the performance, Warnock was bemused by some of his team’s defending.

He added: “How can you legislate for two lads going for the same ball? There’s not a lot we can do. We work on these things in training.

“It’s frustrating to concede goals that we’ve done all season not just tonight – you think we don’t work on it, we probably shouldn’t bother. It might work better than that.

“We’ve shown we can compete. Tonight we looked a decent side. After we weathered the storm in the first 10 minutes, we played some good stuff. It would have been interesting to see the penalty go in. It’s another disappointment for me, but I’m going to get those at my age.”


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