JOE CAN KEEP UP WITH THE JONES!

Ma­son’s goal is proof he Ken do it

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By An­drew Gwilym

RUS­SELL Slade expects Ken­wyne Jones’ Cardiff exit to be con­cluded swiftly but Joe Ma­son proved there will be life af­ter the gi­ant tar­get man for the Blue­birds.

Ma­son, making his first start in six weeks as Jones held talks with a club in Dubai over a move away from Cardiff City Sta­dium, fired home the win­ner just be­fore the hour mark to give the hosts a first win in four and move them to within four points of the Cham­pi­onship play-off places.

Jones has been a re­li­able source of goals for Cardiff since mov­ing from Stoke two years ago, but Ma­son’s ef­fort took the 24year-old above the Trinidad and Tobago in­ter­na­tional as the Welsh club’s top scorer so far this sea­son.

And Slade was de­lighted to see Ma­son get on the score­sheet and put his hand up for a reg­u­lar start­ing spot once Jones’ move is fi­nalised.

“Ken­wyne is in di­a­logue with a club abroad and that is likely to be con­cluded shortly,” said the Cardiff man­ager.

“He was on a huge wage here so it is a fi­nan­cial de­ci­sion and hope­fully it may al­low us some room to do some Jan­uary busi­ness.

“I hope it will be a busy few weeks. It will be tight fi­nan­cially but I hope we will be able to bring some­body in.

“When Ken­wyne is on the team sheet he is a real threat par­tic­u­larly in the air, and we didn't have that threat in this game

“But I am de­lighted with Joe. He has been a bit frus­trated and his chance has come a lit­tle bit quicker than he thought. It will give him a huge boost and will take the weight of his shoul­ders.”

Ma­son’s goal was the high­light of a drab en­counter played out on a heavy play­ing sur­face that did lit­tle to aid ei­ther side.

What few chances there were, Cardiff had the bet­ter of.

An­thony Pilk­ing­ton forced a sharp save from Ja­son Steele with a wicked curl­ing ef­fort af­ter 20 min­utes, while Shane Duffy had to be alert to pre­vent Ma­son fin­ish­ing at the near post.

How­ever, Black­burn felt they should have had a penalty when Hope Akpan went down af­ter a tug on his shirt from Bruno Manga, but in­stead the mid­fielder was booked for div­ing.

“I thought it was a stonewall penalty,” said Lam­bert. “I can­not understand how the ref­eree has missed it. I am sick and tired of wast­ing my voice com­plain­ing about of­fi­cials so I will not do it now and get into trou­ble for it. I need as much money as I can.”

Ma­son fired home the win­ner af­ter the break, re­act­ing quick­est to Duffy’s block of a Craig Noone shot, while Tony Watt wasted a great chance to dou­ble Cardiff’s lead late on.

Lam­bert ad­mit­ted his side’s run of de­feats – they have lost three in a row now and not scored in four league en­cout­ners – is caus­ing him con­cern, par­tic­u­larly as they have cre­ated so lit­tle.

The Scot knows un­less they can ar­rest their slide Rovers may find them­selves get­ting closer than they would like to the bot­tom end of the ta­ble.

“You are al­ways con­cerned with a run of re­sults like this, our form is not good, we have lost the last three,” said Lam­bert - whose side now sit 17th in the ta­ble.

“I have seen ev­ery player now and ev­ery­one has had a chance to show what they can do and if you do not per­form when you have those chances you will not play.

“That is foot­ball and with the win­dow open it is clear we need to bring a few in.

“You can­not af­ford to lose too many games in this di­vi­sion and we have to stop that. That is what we will try and do and get back on track.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

RE­AC­TIONS: Joe Ma­son slots home the game’s only goal on the re­bound

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