NO GIFT OF THE GAB FOR BRUNO

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

CARDIFF City boss Rus­sell Slade was left scratch­ing his head af­ter cen­tre-back Bruno Manga sus­tained a groin in­jury on in­ter­na­tional duty with Gabon.

The de­fender, 27, could be out for two months af­ter pick­ing up the in­jury in train­ing be­tween matches while away with his coun­try.

But Slade re­vealed that find­ing out ex­actly how the in­jury had come about was prov­ing dif­fi­cult.

“It’s a groin strain,” he said.“It’s very dif­fi­cult, we have had no con­trol over it. We are try­ing to find out how he did it.

“We could help them if we could get in­for­ma­tion but we don’t seem to get di­a­logue with them.”

Warnock, who led QPR to the Pre­mier League in 2011, has been in­vited back to Lof­tus Road as a ‘first-team ad­vi­sor’ on a part-time ba­sis fol­low­ing the club’s top­sy­turvy start to life af­ter rel­e­ga­tion.

But Warnock’s ap­point­ment has been backed by Ram­sey, who be­lieves Paul Cad­dis’ sec­ond-half penalty win­ner should never have been awarded af­ter Ne­dum On­uoha and Clay­ton Don­ald­son col­lided in the box.

“It was my choice to bring in Neil. He has a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence and will add to our back­room staff,” said Ram­sey.

“I don’t see him as a threat – I don’t think he wants to be a man­ager any more.

“As for the penalty, they both jumped for the ball in the area and there weren’t any ap­peals. It’s not a penalty and the referee won’t look back on it as one of his best games. I thought we de­served a point and both sides would have been happy with that.

“The fans are al­ways en­ti­tled to their point of view.”

His Birm­ing­ham coun­ter­part Gary Rowett got a rich re­turn from one of his former Bur­ton stars Jacques Maghoma to en­sure they didn’t miss in­jured David Cot­ter­ill.

He com­bined with the elu­sive De­marai Gray to pro­vide the sort of wing threat that has char­ac­terised his side’s charge to­wards the Cham­pi­onship sum­mit.

Birm­ing­ham de­served their vic­tory for up­ping the sec­ond-half tem­per­a­ture against a nig­gly Rangers side.

For­tune ini­tially favoured the en­ter­pris­ing as Rangers took a 17th-minute lead with their first mo­ment of menace.

Matt Phillips turned an in­nocu­ous On­uoha lob into dan­ger by con­trol­ling, turn­ing and blast­ing a left footer to­wards To­masz Kuszczak’s near post. But it was an in­vol­un­tary nick off the head of Jonathan Grounds that wrong­footed the Pol­ish goal­keeper.

Blues, who’d ear­lier seen Robert Green do well to cling onto a fierce Gray shot, equalised af­ter James Perch had seen yel­low for a bad foul on Maghoma. Gray ar­rowed the free-kick onto the head of de­fender Paul Robin­son who duly found the net.

Tjaronn Ch­ery tested Kuszczak from a long-range free-kick and Gray flashed an equally op­ti­mistic shot wide as the half ended even.

There was more tempo to the home side’s game af­ter the break with Don­ald­son just un­able to turn in a Cad­dis cross and Gray twice de­nied by Rangers putting bod­ies on the line in­side their box.

The break­through was a touch soft as Don­ald­son crum­bled un­der On­uoha’s chal­lenge and Cad­dis em­phat­i­cally drove in the 63rd-minute spot kick.

With Jay Em­manuel-Thomas strug­gling up front, an­other lon­grange blast from Ch­ery was the clos­est the vis­i­tors came to an equaliser.

Rowett said: “I was de­lighted the penalty was given – you can read into that what you wish.

“But we de­served it for our over­all per­for­mance. To beat a team that was in the Pre­mier League last sea­son and limit them to very few op­por­tu­ni­ties is an out­stand­ing per­for­mance.

“Maghoma has worked hard to get back to this level and he showed why Ham­burg once bid £1m for him.

“I’m still man­ag­ing ex­pec­ta­tions at this club but, look­ing at the ta­ble, there’s not too much higher we can go.

“My aim is to im­prove still fur­ther – that’s the chal­lenge but it’s go­ing to be very dif­fi­cult.”

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