Burnley defender Matt Lowton may have upset Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock once upon a time!

Matt Lowton on his return to action in Burnley's 3-1 win over AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium
Matt Lowton on his return to action in Burnley's 3-1 win over AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium
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Matt Lowton may have rubbed Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock up the wrong way when weighing in on the ball boy behaviour row six years ago.

The defender, who was at Aston Villa at the time, revealed Warnock's dark arts in utilising ballboys as a tactical ploy to slow games down whenever necessary.

The 29-year-old was an apprentice at Sheffield United during Warnock's reign at Bramall Lane and took on the matchday role during the Blades' last stint in the Premier League in 2006/07.

Lowton had claimed that they were 'schooled in how to use a little gamesmanship to help the team', adding that it was part of their apprenticeship.

"If we were winning and the ball went out you could see him telling us to slow things down," said Lowton, ahead of the game against the Bluebirds.

"I think that happens all over. Obviously, as a kid, you don't want to get in to trouble, you just do as the manager says. If the first team was losing you could see him signing to speed things up too."

Warnock publicly refuted the claims, even though that particularly tactic is considered to be standard procedure in today's game.

But, recalling his time in South Yorkshire, Lowton revealed that he learnt so much more from one of the most seasoned coaches in the business.

Referring to the 70-year-old, who took on his first managerial role in 1980, Lowton said: "He's very good and he loves the game. You can stay in it as long as you can. He's very passionate so there's no reason why he shouldn't still be in the game.

"I was still a young lad, I trained a few times with him. He's like the gaffer really, he's straight-forward, hard-working, making sure everybody is on top of every little detail, wants the basics to be done well.

"We saw that down at their place because it was a scrap really. They work hard, they're honest lads and it's going to be a tough game.

"He was very helpful to me. I was there when Kevin Blackwell was his assistant, who then became my manager when I first broke in as well.

"He taught me a lot; football's not just about football. There's all the hard work at the side of it, you've got to make sure everything is done right every day."