Here are your Cardiff City headlines for Tuesday, March 15.
Morison’s thoughts on Gavin Whyte
Steve Morison has left the door ajar for Gavin Whyte to play a part for Cardiff City next season.
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The Bluebirds winger is on loan at League One Oxford United and is enjoying arguably his best season in years. The Northern Ireland international has registered 10 assists and scored once as the U’s continue their push for promotion to the Championship.
With so many players out of contract at Cardiff in the summer, some fans are starting to believe that Whyte could play a part for the Bluebirds next season. While Morison has been keeping a close eye on the player’s progress at the Kassam Stadium, there are seven others also out on loan and he knows he must monitor them all before the big decisions are made in the summer.
“I haven’t focused on it too much,” he said. “But I get the information and I know how well he is doing. He is one who comes back into the group for next year. I’ve not seen him here really, I’ve seen him fleetingly when he came to play for the under-23s once, but I’ve not seen enough of him.
“I don’t know what the situation is because the last two managers shipped him out straight away down to League One with Oxford. He is comfortable there and does really well there.
“From my point of view he comes back into the group, we will assess and then go from there in the summer. I didn’t think I needed him back in the January transfer window, I really wanted Ryan [Wintle] and Max [Watters] to come back, but we are still running the rule over them and have an eye on all of them. Gav is someone who has a contract next year and is someone that will come back to us in pre-season.”
O’Neill: It’s difficult for Morison to put his stamp on Cardiff style
Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill believes it will be difficult for Steve Morison to put his stamp on things at Cardiff City overnight as he has to play to players’ strengths who are at his disposal.
Morison himself has spoken about the difficulty he has had in trying to alter things and adapting the side’s playing style ( you can read more about that here ) despite changing the personnel at times. And O’Neill, who will come up against Morison on Wednesday night, believes Cardiff will be a similar proposition to the one he faced during the Bluebirds boss’s first game in charge back in October.
When asked if this Cardiff side will represent a different proposition to the one which earned a 3-3 draw at the bet365 Stadium earlier this year, the Potters manager said: “Not particularly, no. Obviously they lost Kieffer Moore but they replaced him with Jordan Hugill, so we will face a big striker with another more mobile striker alongside them.
“They’ve been consistent, they play with a back three. So I think they are not different from a lot of teams in this league. They’ve got themselves in a position where earlier on in the season they looked like they would be in a relegation fight. I don’t think they will be there now.
“Steve is a young manager and he will want to put his stamp on the team. But he only has the players in the building that he has. He can’t change things dramatically overnight. We know what we are going to have to deal with.”
Duo answer Ireland’s call
Cardiff City duo Mark McGuinness and Joel Bagan have both been called up to the Republic of Ireland under-21s squad.
The Bluebirds defenders have enjoyed encouraging seasons for their club. McGuinness has established himself as one of the breakout players of the season, who admittedly has gone off the boil a tad of late, while Bagan has had a barnstorming month or so, scoring his first three senior goals.
And they both are deserving of international honours. The Cardiff players are now regulars for Ireland at age-grade level and will hope to feature for their nation against Sweden on March 29.
Denham ‘deserves’ Cardiff contract
Steve Morison believes Oliver Denham’s new contract gives both the player and the club security and he will be the sort of player the club will look to build the team around next year and beyond.
The young defender burst on to the scene against Liverpool in the FA Cup earlier this year and has been in matchday squads ever since. He was rewarded with a contract until 2024 ( which you can read more about here ) and Morison hopes the Wales youth international can kick on in the coming months.
“He deserves a contract,” Morison said. “We want to secure the future of Oli and the football club. It protects us and gives him security. It’ll give him the opportunity to grow at the rate he needs to grow at.
“He now can relax his mind rather than thinking about what he will be doing. We had an option on him next year anyway, but this is a much better way of working.
“If he builds on his performance at Liverpool and does well next season, or in pre-season, then he has a real opportunity to stake a claim in the team.
“It’s a much nicer way of working and it’s nice knowing the likes of Isaak [Davies], Rubin [Colwill], Oli, Jai [Semenyo], people like that can just work now and grow at the rate they need to with no external factors.”
He joins Isaak Davies and Jai Semenyo in youngsters to be tied down to new deals and Morison hopes to get a few more youngsters’ contracts extended in the not-so-distant future.
“Exactly. We are changing the dynamics of what’s going on. We will have a younger group next year and a core group of academy players.
“There are a few more we want to tie down to slightly longer [contracts] and hopefully that will happen over the coming weeks. There are things I want to do. I just hope agents don’t try and ruin it for their own gain and their own benefit.
“Because it’s not the football club it once was where there is money being thrown around left, right and centre. It should be about the player and their development. If they’re not in it for that then it will be a shame for then as well.”
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