Neil Warnock makes an admission about Jose Fonte

Neil Warnock manager of Rotherham United

Neil Warnock worked with Southampton and Portugal international defender Jose Fonte at Crystal Palace.

England's Daniel Sturridge in action with Portugal's Jose Fonte

Former Leeds United and Queens Park Rangers manager Neil Warnock said on The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show on talkSPORT on Friday morning (broadcast from 6am, July 8) that he did not rate Jose Fonte when he was at Crystal Palace.

Warnock worked with Fonte at Palace when he was in charge of the London club from 2007 until 2010.

Fonte was on the books of the Eagles from 2008 until 2010 after a spell on loan from Portuguese giants Benfica.

The 32-year-old central defender is now a key player at Southampton and has helped Portugal reached the final of the 2016 European Championship in France.

Former Palace manager Warnock has been impressed with the development of Fonte at Southampton.

Wales' Hal Robson-Kanu in action with Portugal's Jose Fonte

“I have got to say,” said Warnock on The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show on talkSPORT on Friday morning (broadcast from 6am, July 8).

“You know, Fonte used to play with me at Palace and I thought he was an accident waiting to happen.

“Since he went to Southampton, he has had a couple of hiccups, but he seems to have just matured. I am ever so pleased.

“He is a lovely lad and he has just matured. He is thriving on it at the minute.”

Manchester City's Wilfried Bony and Raheem Sterling in action with Southampton's Jose Fonte

Fonte has featured in three matches for Portugal at the Euro 2016 finals in France.

The Southampton defender has a pass accuracy of 80% and a shot accuracy of 100%, and has won five headers, one dribble and one tackle.

During the 2015-16 season, the 32-year-old scored two goals and created five chances in 37 Premier League appearances for the Saints.

Fonte had a pass accuracy of 84% and a shot accuracy of 44%, and won 89 headers, two dribbles and 34 tackles.

Jose Fonte celebrates after scoring the third goal for Southampton

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