Dane is on fire for boss Warnock

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By James Candy

CARDIFF man­ager Neil Warnock in­sists he would not swap Ken­neth Zohore for any other Cham­pi­onship striker af­ter his dou­ble in­spired this tri­umph over Ip­swich.

The Dan­ish for­ward struck ei­ther side of half-time to make it nine goals in his last ten matches af­ter Luke Cham­bers had headed the Trac­tor Boys in front.

Joe Ben­nett fin­ished the job with his first goal for the Blue­birds to ex­tend rel­e­ga­tion threat­ened Ip­swich’s win­less run to seven games.

And Warnock hailed Zohore, af­ter changing his mind on the striker from when he first ar­rived at the club.

He said: “He was a waste of time when I first ar­rived, he just walked about and al­ways had his gloves on.

“But he’s a nice lad – it was a cru­cial mo­ment in his ca­reer and the penny has fi­nally dropped for him.

“He’s got ev­ery at­tribute a good striker needs, you can’t coach him.

“You wouldn’t swap him with any in this league. There have been a few play­ers like him who have sur­prised me like Vic­tor Moses and Phil Jagielka.

“If you had told me we would have had 51 points with eight games to go, I would have snapped your hand off.”

It had all started so well for Ip­swich when Cham­bers rose high­est at the far post to head a Tom Lawrence free-kick past Al­lan McGre­gor in the Cardiff goal.

Zohore saw a tame shot saved in re­ply, but he was not to be de­nied his eighth goal in ten games. Jazz Richards whipped a cross into he far post and cap­tain Sean Mor­ri­son headed the ball back across goal for the Dan­ish striker to power home from close range af­ter 36 min­utes.

Ju­nior Hoil­lett was cru­elly de­nied a goal that would have given his side the lead when he turned and shot against the post from in­side the penalty area.

But they com­pleted the turn­around five min­utes into the sec­ond half thanks to in-form striker Zohore. The 23-year-old flicked a long ball onto Hoil­lett who sent a deft back­heel into the path of Zohore and he calmly fin­ished with his left foot past Bar­tosz Bialkowski.

And the game was up for Mick Mc­Carthy’s men af­ter 63 min­utes when Kadeem Har­ris rounded Cole Skuse be­fore feed­ing Ben­nett, who fired in his first league goal since 2014.

Ip­swich are now only five points clear of the rel­e­ga­tion zone, de­spite this be­ing a first de­feat in nine – al­though they did draw the pre­vi­ous six out­ings.

And Mc­Carthy ad­mits they must now scrap for their Cham­pi­onship fu­ture.

He said: “We’re in a rel­e­ga­tion scrap, there is no deny­ing that. I’m look­ing over my shoul­der at teams be­hind me not in front.

“I haven't shied away from that. We can’t af­ford to play like that be­cause there is al­ways some­body that scraps their way out.

“It’s amaz­ing the fight you see when you are bat­tling your way out of the rel­e­ga­tion zone, but it can be quite the op­po­site when you get dragged into it.

“We all need to re­group. We have some huge games against Birm­ing­ham and Wi­gan com­ing up so we need to com­pete bet­ter and play bet­ter.

“It’s im­por­tant that ev­ery­one’s in it to­gether and we need to make Port­man Road a tough place to go from here un­til the end of the sea­son.”

PIC­TURES: An­drew Lewis/ProS­ports

SMOKIN JOE: Ben­nett celebrates with Cardiff team-mates

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