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Cardiff preparing for Man City challenge by 'chasing shadows'

Neil Warnock has described Cardiff’s preparation for the fourth-round FA Cup tie against Manchester City as easy because he has not had to get the ball out.

Cardiff come up against the Premier League’s kings of possession on Sunday, with Warnock admitting his Sky Bet Championship high-fliers have adopted a novel approach to training this week.

"It’s been the easiest week of training," Warnock said.

"We’ve just been chasing shadows to get used to it.

"We’ve haven’t had a ball out at all. It’s been great.

"We’ve just been throwing up a few pieces of paper in the wind for the players to chase."

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City head to Cardiff chasing an unprecedented quadruple.

They have a 12-point lead at the top of the Premier League, are still in the FA Cup and Champions League, and will meet Arsenal in the final of the Carabao Cup next month.

But City have lost on their last two visits to Cardiff, 3-2 in the Premier League four seasons ago and to a Nathan Blake wonder strike when the two sides met in an FA Cup fourth-round tie in 1994.

And Warnock counts City as one of the biggest FA Cup scalps of his long career when he was in charge of Notts County.

"I look back to 1991 when we were in Division Two, we played them at Meadow Lane," Warnock said.

"The snow was six-foot high at the time and the fans were clearing it off the pitch.

"Peter Reid (City manager) and Sam Ellis (his assistant) came down and wanted the game off, but we got into the referee by saying it’s not dangerous.

"We played the game and won 1-0. It was fabulous. We didn’t go training in the week, we went sledging at Woolaton Park.

"It was only when I saw the TV coverage of the sledging I realised how close to a disaster I was.

"My two ’keepers, Kevin Blackwell and Steve Cherry, were on the same sledge and missed a massive tree by about quarter of an inch!

"If they’d hit that tree, wow, it would have finished me off."

Warnock has never met Guardiola but he praised the Spaniard for turning up on a scouting mission to watch Cardiff’s third-round replay victory at Mansfield.

"It was the coldest night of the year, really bad conditions," Warnock said.

"He’s got hundreds of staff and yet he came to watch the two teams, and to me that is class.

"It is nice for me to manage against a team like that and work out how we can try and give them some sort of a game.

"I’d still probably rather be in his dressing room that ours, no disrespect to our lads.

"But at the same time I want us to try and show what we can do as well."