Neil Warnock's confusing comments about Dwight Gayle

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The ex-Crystal Palace boss has given out some mixed messages about the striker and Alan Pardew.

Neil Warnock believes Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew is lucky to have got the best out of Dwight Gayle, according to the London Evening Standard.

Gayle has thrived during Pardew's brief tenure so far at Selhurst Park, although Warnock believes that has only happened through chance, as Mile Jedinak and Yannick Bolasie are currently away on international duty.

Warnock was sacked by Crystal Palace last month, with Pardew his replacement in south London.

And, in typical fashion, the former Palace boss has both praised and indirectly criticised his successor.

“You can say he is lucky in the respect that Jedinak and Bolasie, two of the best players at the club, have gone away for a month and that has enabled him to play Gayle, who I could never get in the team,” Warnock is quoted as saying by the Standard..

“Dwight is the best finisher at the club by a mile. I would play him off [Marouane] Chamakh because I did not think he could do the single role up front. Alan has integrated him in and you can see he is enjoying it.”

Warnock also tipped Palace to finish in the top half, suggesting that he appears to rate Pardew despite this attempt to perhaps undermine him.

And the 66-year-old's comments, on the face of it, may make sense. But that still leaves plenty of confusion in the air.

Why, if Warnock rates Gayle so highly, did he not put the faith in him that has clearly seen him thrive? Warnock claims he couldn't handle being alone up top but, at the same time, admits he is Crystal Palace's best finisher.

And why did the former boss play the club's best finisher in behind a former Arsenal striker notorious for his lack of goals...? Plenty to ponder.

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