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No place like home: ‘Force Spurs to stay at Wembley,’ says Cardiff boss

Cardiff (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock believes Tottenham Hotspur should be made to play at Wembley for the rest of the season to avoid their rivals having any unfair advantage.

Spurs, who beat Cardiff 3-0 to go second in the Premier League on Tuesday, have been prevented from returning to their rebuilt £850 million White Hart Lane because of delays to the building work.

An announcement on a date for them to move in is expected after January 7, but their next Premier League fixture, the home game against Manchester United on January 13, will take place at Wembley.

Four of Spurs’ next five games are at home -– one of which is against Cardiff’s relegation rivals Newcastle -– while they still have to entertain bottom-placed Huddersfield. 

Spurs have already beaten the second bottom and third bottom teams, Fulham and Burnley, at home this season.

Cardiff, who are 16th, three points above the relegation zone, were beaten 1-0 by Tottenham at Wembley on October 6.

“They have made that many cock-ups now with the timing, I think the Premier League should now force them to play at Wembley now for the rest of the season,” said Warnock.

“I don’t think there should be a chance of any advantage to any of our opponents really.

“It’s not our fault -– we should have been playing at the new stadium ourselves, so I think they should step in now, rather than be there in six or seven weeks, or whatever it is.”

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino stressed the importance of bouncing back after they recovered from their 3-1 defeat to Wolves to leapfrog Manchester City, six points behind leaders Liverpool.

Goals in the first 26 minutes from Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-Min made it a comfortable return to winning ways for Spurs.

“It was so important to bounce back to build another positive run,” said Pochettino.

“It was so important for our confidence because in three days we start another competition -– the FA Cup –- and we have the semi-final of the League Cup against Chelsea.

“This was a massive victory for us to make us believe but more in our possibility to be in a very good position in the table.”

Kane got himself into the record books again -– his third-minute opening goal means he has now scored five Premier League goals on New Year’s Day, equalling a record held by Andrew Cole and Steven Gerrard.

Kane’s goal came off his shin, deflecting in a loose ball from a terrible touch from Cardiff captain Sean Morrison after Kieran Trippier’s cross from the right initially hit Kane.

Spurs made it 2-0 after just 12 minutes when Eriksen dummied Bruno Ecuele Manga and Harry Arter before picking his spot from the edge of the box.

Son made it 3-0 with another stylish finish, the South Korean delaying his shot from Kane’s short pass while Morrison dallied before steering an acute-angled drive across Neil Etheridge and into the far bottom corner for his 11th goal of the season, all scored in the last 16 games.

Cardiff’s only threat came from half-time substitute Junior Hoilett, who forced two saves from Hugo Lloris.

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