AT FULL PELT

Cardiff de­fender Lee Peltier sets his sights high for next sea­son

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Ben Baker

NEIL Warnock might be strug­gling for mo­ti­va­tion right now, but fita­gain Lee Peltier is adamant he is the right man to en­sure Cardiff have plenty to keep them stim­u­lated next term.

Af­ter his Blue­birds beat Brent­ford 2-1 ear­lier this month, Warnock ad­mit­ted it was very dif­fi­cult to get him­self up for the chal­lenge when he knew they were safe.

The Blue­birds have been safely en­trenched in mid-ta­ble for some time now, with the threat of rel­e­ga­tion hav­ing long passed.

The cam­paign can, how­ever, be classed a suc­cess for Warnock as he in­her­ited a team in Oc­to­ber that were sec­ond from bot­tom.

Sched­ule

De­spite see­ing the ship stead­ied by Warnock fol­low­ing Paul Trol­lope’s sack­ing, Blue­birds fans will be left want­ing more, con­sid­er­ing they fin­ished eighth last sea­son and in the 2013-14 cam­paign they were mix­ing it with the big boys in the Premier League.

De­fender Peltier, who re­turned from a four-month an­kle in­jury ahead of sched­ule in the 1-0 home win against Not­ting­ham For­est on Easter Mon­day, be­lieves those good times can re­turn to the Welsh cap­i­tal with their much-trav­elled man­ager at the helm.

“The gaffer has al­ready spo­ken about how he wants to push for the play-offs next sea­son,” said Peltier, speak­ing af­ter show­ing girls from Clwb Caerdydd around Cardiff City Sta­dium as part of the Wickes Kits for Kids pro­gramme.

“He is the kind of guy who, when he sets his mind to some­thing, achieves it, so I think we are in for a big sea­son next year.

“We are lucky to have him in charge. You saw what he did with Rother­ham last sea­son (keep­ing them up) and he loves the Cham­pi­onship.

“What you see is what you get with him and his record speaks for it­self. He has come out and said he prefers the Cham­pi­onship to the Premier League as it keeps him on his toes. The main aim next sea­son is pro­mo­tion. The gaffer has said that.

“I think he is go­ing to bring in a few play­ers and, hope­fully, we can start look­ing up again.”

While Warnock is al­ready gear­ing up for the fight next sea­son, there are lin­ger­ing con­cerns that mid­fielder Peter Whit­ting­ham’s long as­so­ci­a­tion with Cardiff could be com­ing to an end.

Hav­ing joined from As­ton Villa in 2007, Whit­ting­ham is the Welsh club’s long­est-serv­ing player but his con­tract ex­pires in the sum­mer.

The 32-year-old has been of­fered a new deal, but it is a re­duced one.

Warnock ad­mit­ted that talks had ef­fec­tively stalled over a ‘com­pro­mise con­tract’ nec­es­sary to bring the club in line with Fi­nan­cial Fair Play reg­u­la­tions.

Re­solved

How­ever, Peltier, who joined Cardiff in Jan­uary 2015, is con­fi­dent the spine of the club will re­main as they look to edge back to­wards the Premier League.

“Ev­ery­one knows what Peter means to Cardiff,” he said. “I am sure some­thing will be re­solved sooner rather than later. I think the club are just wait­ing to see what sort of bud­get they will be look­ing at next sea­son.

“Peter has been a great ser­vant to this club and he is still play­ing re­ally well, even though he isn’t get­ting any younger!

“He loves it here and is set­tled, so I think it is just a case of thrash­ing out the fi­nal few de­tails. There are a few play­ers who are out of con­tract in the sum­mer but the man­ager is sort­ing it out. I’m sure we will be ready to chal­lenge next sea­son.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

PLAU­DITS: Lee Peltier and Neil Warnock have earned fans’ praise FULL PELT: Cardiff de­fender Lee Peltier is back in ac­tion. In­set, team-mate Peter Whit­ting­ham

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