Neil Warnock: Palace shirts went down a treat in Uganda even with the united front

What I Learnt This Week

Football is so big now clubs, and managers, get that many begging letters from every walk of life. Some clubs have set up whole departments to organise their charity work.

Every letter starts by saying, "I know you probably get loads of letters like this...". We do, and it is impossible to help everyone out. I've already tended to support Multiple Sclerosis charities because my mum suffered from it, and also we use the oxygen tent in a local MS centre.

Sometimes a letter catches your eye. A Palace fan recently got in touch with me who was involved with a hospital in Uganda called the Kiwoko Hospital. I had a chat and arranged for them to pick up some spare kits.

Recently he sent me the accompanying photograph. It's great to see all those smiling faces, though I feel sorry for the two lads who have to wear Manchester United kit. They must be the ones who have had a duff training session.

We are in a privileged position and it is nice to do something positive with that. It also gives you a bit of perspective after a bad week of results. Have a look at

2. Pressure is on to get back on victory trail

It has been a disastrous week, losing 4-3 at Watford in the FA Cup followed by local rivals Charlton beating us 1-0 on Tuesday. This is the time as a manager when you have to regroup, and get back to basics. The only upside is you learn more about yourself and your team when things are not going so well.

It is only two weeks since I could not see us losing a game. We've now lost three on the trot. It shows how fragile football is. The constant pressure is there at any level. Look at the Premier League. There is pressure on Liverpool to revitalise their push, on Arsenal to get in the top four, let alone win the league, and at the other end no-one from Hull downwards will be sitting comfortably. It is so tight. West Brom are bottom but two wins and their fans will be talking about Europe. They play Hull and Newcastle next, so who is to say they can't? Most people wrote them off months ago but you can't write anybody off.

At both games last week we had 4,000 fans backing us. With a following like that it makes you more determined to turn the corner to give them something to shout about.

3. Shouting can be bad for your teeth

You would be surprised the distractions managers can face during a game. I've had some work on my teeth in preparation for getting a new bridge – no, it is not as big as the Humber. On Monday I had to have a temporary bridge fitted. So you can imagine my horror when, at half-five on Tuesday, as I was about to leave for The Valley, it dropped out as I was cleaning my teeth. I stuck it back in and took my place on the bench but within five minutes I was shouting at Shefki Kuqi and it landed in the mud a yard in front of me. I had to wait for the ball to go down the other end before picking it up and trying again. After losing it three times I decided to shout without it for the rest of the first half. At half-time the physios stuck it back with chewing gum and all sorts which seemed to do the job. Now I carry a tube of glue.

We had Stuart Atwell refereeing on Tuesday, the young ref made notorious by the ghost goal at Watford-Reading. In comparison with some we've had of late, he was excellent.

4. Misquoted again and it still bugs me

On the morning of the Charlton match I picked up the Daily Mirror, which is never very complimentary to me, and saw the headline, "Warnock: 'Curbs must carry the can'." Anyone reading that would think I blame Alan Curbishley for Charlton's current plight although he left three years ago with the team mid-table in the Premier League. Curbs obviously did, as his agent rang me to complain. I explained I'd been doing press and the conversation got round to how teams can go on a long run without winning. Someone said Curbs didn't have a great time in his last 15 games. I said, "Well, yes, he did have a nightmare towards the end but fans remember the good times." I should be used to it but it still bugs me when I read a misleading headline. How can Alan Curbishley be blamed for their current situation? My favourite saying about journalists is they never let the facts get in the way of the story.

5. Shouting can be good for your kids

What do managers do on a run like this? For me relaxation, of sorts, came on Wednesday afternoon when I shot off to watch an under-eights game. It was 0-0 with five minutes to go with parents on opposite sides screaming at the teams when one of the opponents smashed in an own goal from 15-20 yards. In the next attack William picked it up, dropped a shoulder, and blasted it into the left-hand corner. Sharon and me were jumping up doing high fives. One of the parents said, "Calm down". It just brought home to me the the highs and lows, the pride I could see in him, why everyone loves the game.

6. It's great being messy when the wife's away

Aside from the results it has been a good week. Amy and Mum are away so William and me have had some "boys' days". We've been to the movies to see a fantastic film called Beverly Hills Chihuahua. The homework's been done in a matter of minutes and there are clothes everywhere. It's lovely to leave everything lying around and not be told off. We are doing what we want until tomorrow. Then we have to tidy up.

7. Window is two more days of worry for me

I don't know whose idea it was to move the transfer window deadline to Monday. It's just another two days' nightmare. So far we've not been involved much, the main deal was selling Ben Watson to Wigan for £2m. It is a shame to lose him but it was a fair price.

I have taken a young striker called Rui Fonte on loan from Arsenal for a month. He's the younger brother of our centre-half, Jose, who asked me to have a look at him. It'll be interesting to see how he goes, though when I went to watch him in Arsenal's reserves he had the brightest boots ever, and gloves. I said to Jose, "I can't be doing with that". He said, "I know. I've told him." It could be worse, he could be a centre-half.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk