Steve Morison says Uche Ikpeazu is in contention for a first Cardiff City start but admits he’s currently happy with the striker’s role as an impact sub.
The Middlesbrough loanee once again produced a bright cameo from the bench on Saturday, and emerged with plenty of credit after twice being denied by Daniel Iversen in the Preston goal in the latter stages of what was a contest largely devoid of goalmouth action at both ends.
The 27-year-old is yet to make start for the Bluebirds since his January capture, but has netted three times off the bench since his arrival in the capital.
This latest solid outing may well have given his boss something to think about over the coming weeks, although Morison later revealed that the forward would have started the defeat to Fulham had he not succumbed to illness.
In any case, the Bluebirds boss admits he isn’t sure the Ugandan would have the same impact on his side were he thrown in from the off.
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“He was due to start the game and then obviously he was ill,” he explained after the goalless draw with Preston. “From our point of view, it’s weighing up whether he has the impact because he’s coming of the bench.
“It’s about working out whether if he can have that impact for 60, 70, 80, 90 minutes.
“He did well when he came on today. It was a game that suited him.
“Obviously I had to take Isaak [Davies] off. It wasn’t his day. We felt that rather than bring Mark Harris on against their physical back three, we needed someone who could match them up in that moment.
“Everyone’s up for consideration. I just try and pick the best team I can.”
One man who probably doesn’t need to worry about starting games at the moment is Alex Smithies, who proved his worth once again with two smart saves to keep Preston at bay.
“He’s been fantastic since I’ve taken over,” Morison added.
“You ask your goalie to make big saves at big moments and he did that.
“The same way their keeper made a save on Uche right at the death, so really, really pleased for Al and pleased for the team to keep a clean sheet.”
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