Brum clash will come too soon for Pater­son – Warnock

Mean­while, Gun­nars­son and Manga face late fit­ness tests ahead of tonight’s big clash in Mid­lands

Western Mail - - SPORT - Ian Mitchel­more ian.mitchel­more@waleson­

NEIL Warnock has re­vealed Cardiff City’s clash with Birm­ing­ham City will come too soon for right-back Cal­lum Pater­son.

And the York­shire­man also be­lieves the trip to St An­drew’s will be too early for goal­keeper Lee Camp – both are close to re­turn­ing to ac­tion.

Pater­son net­ted a stun­ning hat­trick for the Blue­birds’ de­vel­op­ment side on Mon­day while Camp has also fea­tured reg­u­larly for the Un­der-23 team in re­cent weeks.

And Warnock ex­pects the Scot to re­turn to ac­tion within the next two weeks, adding that he could name him among the sub­sti­tutes later this month if re­quired.

“Camp and Pater­son played again the other day and we’ve got Rhys Healey com­ing back again,” said Warnock.

But when asked if Pater­son is ready to face the Blues, the Cardiff man­ager re­sponded: “No not yet. He scored a great hat-trick. We thought it was (Ser­gio) Aguero or some­one.

“We gave him a round of ap­plause. He’s got to get that power but we’re not push­ing him and we don’t need him at the minute. We want him to be 100 per cent.

“Gor­don Stra­chan men­tioned about the size of the (Scot­land) team, I imag­ine Pater­son be­fore his in­jury, peo­ple like him will look to get back in the Scot­tish side.

“To get him like we did was a no­brainer, even though I knew we wouldn’t see him un­til around Novem­ber. He’s just got to keep do­ing what he’s do­ing.

“He’s play­ing games now so if I felt I needed him on the bench I would do.

“Camp could play prob­a­bly in the next fort­night if he wanted to.

“He’s just had a bit of a re­ac­tion to his thigh which you’ll get if you’ve been out for a while. Neil (Etheridge) and (Brian) Mur­phy have done really well.”

Aron Gun­nars­son, Bruno Manga and Neil Etheridge all fea­tured for their coun­tries over the in­ter­na­tional break, with Gun­nars­son help­ing Ice­land qual­ify for the 2018 World Cup in Rus­sia. But Warnock has re­vealed Gun­nars­son will need to be as­sessed ahead of the clash with Steve Cot­ter­ill’s side.

Mean­while, cen­tre-back Bruno Manga has not re­turned to the club’s Vale Re­sort train­ing base yet after a di­ar­rhoea epi­demic struck Morocco while his Gabon side were play­ing dur­ing the break.

“We’ve just got to wait and see about Manga,” added the vet­eran boss.

“They had a di­ar­rhoea epi­demic in Morocco, they played on Tues­day in Paris as well so we haven’t seen him yet. The goal keeper Etheridge we haven’t seen ei­ther.

Gun­nars­son came back he should be avail­able but we haven’t breathal­ysed him yet.

“He came yes­ter­day, we trained fully but he didn’t. He said he had cramps over there after the first game, not a prob­lem from his orig­i­nal in­jury.

“He just did a warm up yes­ter­day. We’ll see what he’s like to­day. If there’s any doubt we won’t play him.”

Mean­while mid­field ace Joe Ralls be­lieves Cardiff City’s team spirit is the rea­son why the club’s sum­mer sign­ings have set­tled in so quickly.

The 24-year-old’s fel­low cen­tral mid­field­ers Craig Bryson and Loic Damour have both im­pressed in the Welsh cap­i­tal since join­ing the club dur­ing the trans­fer win­dow.

And Ralls ad­mits the in­ten­si­fied bat­tle to be se­lected by Neil Warnock can only ben­e­fit the Blue­birds’ pro­mo­tion bid.

“There is (good com­pe­ti­tion for places),” said Ralls. “I think it’s good. We all want to achieve some­thing this year.

“We know the Cham­pi­onship is a hard league, there’s go­ing to be plenty of games and a lot of nig­gles and things like that so I’m happy with the squad and all of us know in the team that you’ve got to be in form if you want to play games.

“Cal­lum Pater­son and (Lee) Camp when they are fully fit as well, at the mo­ment we feel like we’ve got a good squad and there’s still other play­ers to add to that.

“We’ve got the Christ­mas pe­riod not too far away so the big­ger the squad the bet­ter, really.

“All of the new boys have set­tled in well.

“We’ve got a great team spirit and a great dress­ing room. I’m sure they’ll say them­selves, it’s an easy team to come into and fit in straight away. I think they’ve done that. Bryson’s started well and Loic. (Danny) Wardy when he’s played, he scored a big goal at Ful­ham so I think they’ve set­tled in very well.”

“The Cham­pi­onship is a tough league and Birm­ing­ham have some good play­ers. I imag­ine they’re des­per­ate for points.”

> Cal­lum Pater­son, pic­tured in ac­tion for Cardiff City’s Un­der-23s re­cently

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