Neil Warnock admits he has questioned his own future as Cardiff manager following the disappearance of the plane carrying the club’s striker Emiliano Sala over the Channel Islands last Monday.
Sala, who was signed by Cardiff for a club-record £15million from French club Nantes only two days earlier, and pilot David Ibbotson remain missing, with fundraisers having paid for a private search in the English Channel after the official search was called off last Thursday.
“You think 24 hours a day about whether to carry on,” Warnock said as he spoke to the media for the first time on Monday following Sala’s disappearance.
“It’s impossible to sleep. I’ve been in football management for 40 years and it’s been by far the most difficult week in my career, by an absolute mile.
“It’s been a traumatic week and even now I can’t get my head around the situation.
“It’s probably hit me harder than anyone else as I’ve met the lad and talked to him for the last six to eight weeks.”
Warnock revealed that the League Managers’ Association had offered him support and that several Cardiff players had spoken to psychologists in the wake of Sala’s disappearance.
Asked whether he had sought help, Warnock said: “You have to in this instance. Who motivates the motivator?
“I am OK when I’m in the public eye or with the players, it’s when I’m at I’m on my own or at home that you think about it.
“It’a probably the lads you don’t expect that needed more help. But I don’t think it does any harm to talk to anyone else. It’s been noticeable that three of four lads have been really poor.”
Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri, who managed Sala during his time in charge of Nantes, also spoke to the media on Monday.
He said: “Emiliano’s a fantastic boy. He’s a player who puts his head where others wouldn’t put their foot. For me, it’s very, very sad. I pray for him and his family.”