Cardiff City manager Russell Slade spoke of his delight of an extended contract for winger Craig Noone in his press conference ahead of the weekend’s trip to Watford.
First, though, the Gaffer provided an injury update on his squad, with central defender Bruno Ecuele Manga having been under close observation during the week.
“Bruno Manga has aggravated the joint at the top of his calf,” Russell said. “Yesterday he had an injection in that particular area, hoping to settle it down and get rid of that inflammation.
“He’s going to miss out this weekend. It’s not a huge area of inflammation, so we think it will settle down very quickly, and he could be back training possibly by the middle of next week, if the procedure does the trick. We’ll know if it does in the next forty-eight hours.
“I’ve been really pleased with him this season; on the whole, his performances have been outstanding, and the only game where he perhaps wasn’t as good was Bolton away. He’s been very good, and he’s a big part of our plans going forward.
“Otherwise, we’ve had one or two little niggly injury worries, but nothing that will stop people playing on Saturday.”
Saturday’s visit to Vicarage Road represents the latest opportunity for the Bluebirds to get back to winning ways on their travels.
“Are we going to win away from home? Yes, we are, we’d just like it to be sooner rather than later. It’ll be eleven versus eleven on Saturday, and we need to show the same qualities that we showed against Birmingham; the qualities which got us something there, could also get us three points.
“The only thing that changes is the post code, that’s how I see it. We’ve worked very hard this week, and we’re determined to make it this Saturday.
“We’re in the pack – you’ve only got to glance at the table to know that. We’re four points off the play-offs. I think that Christmas, January-time is a good time to start putting yourself in a fighting position in that top six. That’s our aim, and that’s not changed since day one.”
Finally, Russell addressed Craig Noone, who on Wednesday signed a contract extension to keep him at the Club until 2018.
“Craig is infectious. He has a great attitude; he’s a real bubbly character. I had to bring him off last week because he’d felt a little bit of cramp during the week, because he works so incredibly hard for the cause. That’s why I want him for the long term, because that’s the type of person I want at this Football Club, someone who wants to be here and gives everything for the team.
“You’re not going to get the perfect victory every single game, but the important thing is, when the performance isn’t good, the best sides have got to win."