Cardiff City manager Russell Slade offered some insight into the recovery of his squad as he looked ahead to Tuesday evening’s game against Ipswich at Cardiff City Stadium.
In the midst of a run of three Sky Bet Championship matches in eight days, the Bluebirds boss addressed the likes of Ravel Morrison, who missed out on Saturday with injury, as well as Fábio, Declan John, Federico Macheda and long-term absentees Ben Turner and Matthew Connolly.
“Ravel opened up the ligaments in his knee,” Russell began. “What it is, is when he’s kicking the ball over distance now, it’s still causing him a problem, so anything over fifteen to twenty yards he’s having problems. On top of that, he had a little bit of a virus as well, so there were two reasons to his absence on Saturday. There’s an outside chance of him being ready for Tuesday, but next Saturday looks more likely.
“For Fábio to fall to injury ahead of the Forest match on Saturday was a blow. I could have solved any other area of the team quickly, but with Declan [John] out too we need to get him looked at as quickly as possible. Fair play to the lads, though – they came through that as a group.
“[Kiko] Macheda was cramping up towards the end on Saturday, so that’s why we decided to take him off, but I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t fit on Tuesday.
“Ben [Turner] had sixty minutes for us on Friday in an internal game – we had thirty minutes each way and he came through that, and Matt Connolly had thirty minutes and he came through that, so that’s all good.
“I said to the group that of the twenty-man squad that I pick for the three games in this seven-game period, most of them will play their part. I think that it’s invaluable for a player who maybe isn’t a starter to come on and make the right sort of impact.”
Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town arrive in the Welsh capital on Tuesday following three consecutive draws, and Slade described exactly what threat the Tractor Boys will pose.
“Tuesday is going to be a very difficult game again, because Ipswich went to Forest and nearly won. Forest equalised very late on against them.
“I know Mick [McCarthy’s] team, because I played against them in pre-season [with Leyton Orient]. They’re tough to beat, they’re very organised, and we’ve got a lot of work to do before Tuesday if we’re going to pull off a result against Ipswich, there’s no doubt about that.”