London - Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock will be hoping for a belated birthday present from his players when they host Aston Villa on Tuesday, after revealing the Premier League can be a lonely place for a boss.
Warnock celebrated his 66th birthday on Monday at a press conference ahead of his 14th-placed side's clash with Paul Lambert's team.
The two are level on 13 points from 13 games and though Warnock said he was not looking forward to turning another year older, landing an important win could help lighten his mood.
"No (I'm not looking forward to my birthday), not at my age," he told reporters. "I had the kids on the phone singing me a song first thing this morning though, which was good.
"I sent (Hull City manager) Steve Bruce a text on Saturday when he took charge of his 700th match and said '700 games, you've only just started!' I won't tell you what he texted back.
"It's a hard life and a lonely life being a Premier League manager but there are days when it is rewarding."
An impressive home win against Liverpool followed by Saturday's 1-1 draw away at Swansea City have helped Palace recover from a poor start.
Troubled Villa are without a win since the beginning of September and assistant manager Roy Keane quit the club on Friday before their 1-1 draw at second-from-bottom Burnley at the weekend.
Warnock, who took over from Tony Pulis for his second spell in charge at Selhurst Park in August, is expecting to face a Villa team desperate to get back to winning ways.
"Any of bottom eight or nine are all going to have periods when look as though in freefall, it's how you come out of them," he said.
"Villa have quality and they believe in themselves. They come to our place knowing a win will turn their season around."