Neil Warnock says that Cardiff City will not attempt to rough up Eden Hazard when the in-form Belgian faces the Bluebirds defence at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Hazard has either scored or assisted a goal in all four of Chelsea‘s matches so far this season, and he also found the net for Belgium against Scotland and Iceland during the international break.
He will surely fancy his chances of continuing his hot streak against Cardiff, but Warnock says that his team will not resort to agricultural tactics to stop him.
“People try to kick him [Hazard] but he just loves it, he just wants to play,” said Warnock, quoted by the Evening Standard. “I love his attitude. I can understand why Chelsea didn’t let him go. He is a massive part of what they’re trying to do.
“How do you stop him? Goodness knows. I was hoping Iceland were going to take chunks out of him when he played for Belgium the other night.
“In all seriousness, I won’t set out to do that. We get tainted with the wrong brush. We got criticised after the Manchester City game [in the FA Cup last season] — there was a tackle on Leroy Sane by our left-back, Joe Bennett. People made such a meal of it, you’d think we were animals.
“The reason Hazard gets fouled a lot is because he’s so quick, so deceptive, so good. Some lads in the division will be late at times but it’s merely because they’re not at his level.”
Cardiff are still seeking their first win of the campaign, having taken two points from their first four matches.