Warnock praise for Stokes

Last updated : 10 March 2009 By Palace Reporter

Neil Warnock

''Sometimes players can lose their way but Anthony knows that everybody can't be wrong.

''He's looked in the mirror and he hasn't had many takers in terms of clubs coming in for him.

''It's great for us to be able to take him, at a realistic price as well, and he's shown what he can do. I like these lost souls. He's bright and breezy and has given us another dimension.''

Stokes pounced in the 31st minute when he cut past Preston left-back Callum Davidson and crunched a shot high into the top corner.

That settled Palace - who had fallen behind to Jones' low volley three minutes previously - and lively midfielder Neil Danns netted from Paul Ifill's cross moments later for what proved to be the winner.

The Eagles are nine points off the play-offs - albeit with two games in hand - and Warnock is refusing to countenance a late promotion surge.

He joked: ''We don't talk about stuff like that. We've got three away games coming up where we cover 1,200 miles in just a few days. If we win all of them, I'll show my backside on Sheffield Town Hall steps.''

Preston boss Alan Irvine admitted a few ''moments of madness'' cost his side precious points in their own play-off bid, and he now expects the Coca-Cola Championship promotion race to go to the wire.

He said: ''It will go down to the final day, at the top and bottom of the table. There's nothing between the sides at the top and bottom so the funny results in this league don't surprise me.

''I thought a few weeks ago that it would need to be a very high total - maybe 75 - to get in the play-offs but now I'm not so sure.

''Teams are dropping points so it might be lower than that now. Our home form is good but we will need to start picking up points on the road as well.''