Belfast Telegraph

Leave Palace out of story - Warnock

Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock is adamant none of his players were involved in the incident which saw QPR defender Steven Caulker taken to hospital last Sunday.

Caulker suffered a cut to the head during a squad get-together although QPR dismissed reports of a fight breaking out, insisting the defender had "slipped".

Palace players were also in attendance at the lunch but Warnock claims none of his team were at fault.

"Do not bring us into it," Warnock said.

"We were there but that is where it ended. We were not together as a group.

"You notice how there was nothing else mentioned about Crystal Palace.

"I do not know why it was on the front page."

Palace host Stoke on Saturday, looking to register their first win in four matches and extend a two-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone.

Damien Delaney is likely to make his first start for the Eagles since injuring his calf against Liverpool last month and there has been positive news too for the club regarding the defender's future.

"One of the press guys told me this morning that on Delaney's Instagram he says he's agreed (to sign a new contract) so somebody at the club will tell me eventually," Warnock said.

"Unfortunately Damien can't tweet me but no doubt he'll let me know. It's good news if it is true.

"He's an important player for the club on and off the field. He's one of our leaders and it's good to tie him down. It's a reward for him as well."

The club are also in talks with Joel Ward over a new deal and Warnock is hopeful an agreement can be struck before Christmas.

Palace secured a hard-earned draw at Tottenham last Saturday but face a tough test against a Stoke side arriving in London on the back of a 3-2 win over Arsenal.

"Stoke have got a number of good players in their side," Warnock said.

"I was looking forward to seeing Victor Moses but he is injured.

"Bojan Krkic looks a hell of a player and I know Mark Hughes likes him but they have got others, like Peter Crouch and Jon Walters. It will be tough."

Warnock added: "We have been playing well for a few weeks, without scoring goals.

"The players have been quite buoyant this week in training and I had to hold them back a little bit but that is a good sign."

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