Ward suffering the same sort of luck as Sturridge –Warnock
CARDIFF City face a wait to discover whether Jamie Ward is set for the sidelines just nine minutes into his time as a Bluebird as Neil Warnock compared his bad luck to that of Liverpool star Daniel Sturridge.
But Neil Warnock could yet be boosted ahead of the weekend clash with Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough as Craig Bryson preparing to show he’s ready to boost the promotion push.
Ward, a deadline day loan signing from Nottingham Forest, was handed his Cardiff debut in Tuesday night’s win over Bolton.
But the Northern Ireland international hobbled off after less than ten minutes gone in the game the Bluebirds went on to comfortably take three points courtesy of goals from Armand Traore and Sean Morrison.
Warnock later revealed Ward had suffered a groin problem, comparing the situation to that of Sturridge who left Anfield on loan to gain game time at West Brom – only to break down in Monday’s game against Chelsea, his third outing for his new club.
“Jamie hurt his groin,” admitted Warnock. I was only looking at Sturridge the other night, feeling sorry for him, and now Jamie has done it himself.
“He can’t feel it when he’s walking, so we are optimistic it won’t be too bad, but we’ll have to see.”
Although boosted by recent transfer recruitment, Warnock will hope the injury does not see Ward absent for a significant amount of time as he looks to build on a five-game unbeaten run that has moved the Bluebirds to a point off second-placed Aston Villa.
While Warnock has welcomed Lee Peltier back in midweek for first start since New Year’s Day, but there are still injury issues.
Danny Ward is out for the season while Matt Connolly is also absent, and Warnock added: “Jazz is a while off and Aron Gunnarsson is not training on grass yet – though he should be in another week to 10 days.
“But I’m hoping Craig Bryson will play for an hour for the Under-23s this week to show he is ready.”
Bryson has not featured since the Boxing Day defeat to Fulham, that itself a first appearance in three weeks after suffering with an Achilles problem.
Warnock should have Gary Madine available for Middlesbrough, revealing he sent the striker for scans after knocks to his knee and ankle against Millwall as well as the “smashed nose”.
It will see Warnock given a decision between his strikers, a sign of the greater squad depth he’s formed.
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing was again dropped from the 18 while Sol Bamba was dropped to the bench, with the veteran manager saying: “I wanted some fresh legs. It was a bruising game against Millwall – a good job Pep didn’t see it – so I could make changes. The most difficult was telling two lads they weren’t on the bench in Mendez-Laing and (Greg) Halford.
“I would have liked both on the bench if I’m honest but I couldn’t get them on, for different reasons.
“But that’s good for me; if that’s going to be my biggest problem between now and the end of the season I don’t mind.”
> Neil Warnock in full voice against Bolton on Tuesday
> Jamie Ward