Bamba blow rocks Bluebirds

Cardiff City will be without Sol Bamba for the reminder of their battle to avoid relegation, with the central defender having suffered a serious knee injury.

The 34-year-old Ivory Coast international, who been with the Bluebirds for just over two years, had to be stretchered off just after half-time of the 2-0 defeat at Wolves on Saturday afternoon.

City boss Neil Warnock was concerned straight after the game that the injury might be a long-term one and his worst fears have now been realised.

He told the clubs official website: "Unfortunately our biggest fears have been confirmed regarding the injury Sol suffered at Wolves on Saturday.

"Scans have shown that Sol has ruptured his ACL, he will have an operation on Wednesday and therefore miss the rest of the season.

"It is a major blow to the squad, but I know all of our supporters will join me in wishing him the very best during his recovery."

Bamba had only missed one Premier League game so far this season, scoring four goals in 28 appearances.

The Bluebirds are currently inside the bottom three in the top-flight and are two points adrift of safety following three consecutive defeats – to Watford, Everton and Wolves.

Next up for City is a Saturday visit from West Ham, with the meeting of the two sides at the London Stadium earlier this season having finished 3-1 to the hosts.

Cardiff are 11/5 to secure victory on Saturday and are 10/1 to edge a 1-0 win, with the draw available at 12/5.

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Warnock calls for more fight

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock is worried that his team are going to slide out of the Premier League with a whimper.

The Bluebirds are 1/3 to be relegated this season after suffering a 3-0 home loss to Everton on Tuesday, just four days after being thrashed 5-1 by Watford at their own ground.

Iceland international Gylfi Sigurdsson scored twice and Dominic Calvert-Lewin was also on target in stoppage time as Everton easily won at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Cardiff are 11/2 to win at Wolves in their next Premier League match on Saturday.

"I know my team for the Wolves game and I want people who will be in the trenches because I was let down by one or two on Tuesday," said Warnock. "I am not going to throw the towel in and I will make sure we are ready."

Cardiff had beaten Bournemouth and Southampton before their two recent setbacks and Warnock is keen to return to winning ways, adding: "We have got to make our own luck.

"We have got 10 games left, difficult games, and people will probably be rubbing their hands now at playing us but, as I've said to the lads, we're not going down without a fight."

Warnock praises Hornets form

Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock believes Friday's opponents Watford are the strongest team in the Premier League outside the current top six.

The Bluebirds go into the game at the Cardiff City Stadium in good hearts, having secured back-to-back victories over Bournemouth and Southampton, but Warnock is under no illusion about the challenge facing his side.

He told reporters: "To get three wins on the trot in the Premier League for a club like Cardiff is nigh-on impossible.

"Watford are probably the best team in the league outside the top six. They are a strong physical side who have got good players and, although it was 3-2 down there, they beat us well.

"But in adversity you tend to pull together and that's been the situation here. What's happened has made us play more of a tempo. We've got good players and it's about believing in ourselves."

The meeting of the two sides at Vicarage Road just before Christmas ended 3-2 to the Hornets, with two late City goals making the final scoreline less emphatic.

Warnock has major injury doubts over centre-back Sean Morrison (appendix) and forward Victor Camarasa (calf) for Friday's clash.

The Bluebirds can be backed at 21/10 to secure all three points against Watford and are 9/1 to win the game in South Wales by a 1-0 scoreline.

Cardiff, who are one point outside the drop zone heading into the weekend programme of games, are 1/1 to avoid relegation this season.

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Warnock lands loanee Niasse

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock has added another attacking option to his squad by signing Everton striker Oumar Niasse on loan until the end of the season.

The 28-year-old Senegal international has made five Premier League appearances as a substitute for the Toffees this season, having only featured once since late September.

And Niasse is looking forward to a fresh challenge, with an option in place for a permanent deal if both parties are satisfied come the summer.

He told his new clubs official website: "I'm really pleased to be at Cardiff City. Having heard about the manager from other players and met him, I knew this was the right move for me.

"Other clubs were interested, but I was convinced that this was where I wanted to come. I can't wait to get started."

Meanwhile, Warnock confirmed that he had spoken to former Sheffield United charge Phil Jagielka about Niasse, with both players on the periphery at Goodison Park.

The City boss added: "Phil said he's my type of player and that he would do well for us, the way that he plays. When I'm looking to improve the squad there's not many players available on loan."

Niasse joined Everton just under three years ago from Lokomotiv Moscow and has scored nine goals in 39 appearances in all competitions for the Merseysiders, having spent the second half of the 2016/17 season on loan with Hull City.

The Bluebirds face a crunch clash with Newcastle United at St James' Park on Saturday, with City12/5  to earn a draw on Tyneside, with a 1-1 draw priced at 11/2 and a goalless final scoreline 7/1.

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Striker a must for Warnock

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock has confirmed that signing a new striker remains his top priority before the January transfer window slams shut.

The Bluebirds have scored 19 goals in 21 Premier League games played so far this season, with Warnock admitting that more firepower will be needed to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

He told reporters: "I'd still like another striker, even with the lads that are here. We're very thin on the ground in that area and we've got to try and get more goals into the team.

"Clubs and players are always trying to get the best deal, while the same clubs are chasing the same players.

"You've got to work hard to try and get signings, but the games are also important. I imagine (it will go down to deadline day), that is the way it is looking at the moment."

Callum Paterson, with four, is the leading scorer for City in the top-flight so far this season, with Victor Camarasa and Josh Murphy having both netted three times.

Next up for the Bluebirds is a crunch showdown with rock-bottom Huddersfield Town at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday, with the two side shaving played out a goalless draw in West Yorkshire earlier this season.

The hosts are 13/10 to win the game and are 11/2 to do so by a 1-0 scoreline, with Cardiff 1/1 not to be relegated come the end of the season.

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Warnock boosted by City upturn

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock says his job of trying to recruit new players in the January transfer window has been helped by recent positive results.

The Bluebirds have picked up seven points from their last five Premier League games to move clear of the relegation zone, with the Bluebirds currently three points above the safety mark.

And that position has made life a little easier for Warnock, who remains realistic about being able to add to his squad over the next month.

He told reporters: "I'm not confident at all (of signing new players) as it is so difficult in January, but it's better for me when we have had a couple of results that we have had.

"It is easier talking to players when you are not bottom of the league. We can try and convince them we have a chance of staying up and ask them to come and help us out.

"It is far better for me to talk to players in that situation and if you look at the club and the crowds that are following us, it is an appealing place to come to."

City are back in action on New Year's Day when they play host to high-flying Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino warning his players that they are in for a hard time in South Wales.

He told his club's official website: "It's going to be tough, Cardiff are a tough team to play against. We need to be prepared for a big battle and were looking forward to it."

Tottenham are 9/20 to claim victory at the Cardiff City Stadium and are 8/1 to win by a 2-1 scoreline, with Christian Eriksen available at 21/10 to score at any time in the game.

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Warnock hails improving Cardiff

Neil Warnock claims his Cardiff side have "improved so much" this season after their 1-0 Premier League win at Leicester on Saturday.

The Bluebirds endured a difficult return to the top flight earlier in the campaign following their automatic promotion from the Championship last season.

However, having won four times in front of their own fans, Victor Camarasa's 25-yard effort in the second minute of stoppage time at the King Power Stadium sealed a first victory on the road to move them four points clear of the relegation places.

The goal came moments after Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge saved a James Maddison penalty and Warnock claims his players got their just deserts.

"It's the best day since we've been back in the Premier League," he said. "It's the best performance of the season, by an absolute mile. Defensively I thought we were outstanding.

"There are a few teams down there who didn't expect to be. That's difficult mentally. We've always known we would be down there.

"I thought we deserved to win. We limited them. If we'd have been precise in the final third we could have scored three or four.

"I'm really proud how they put their bodies on the line. We've come along way, we've improved so much since the start of the season."

Cardiff are 4/5 to stay up this season, while they are priced at 1/1 to be relegated.

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Warnock ends Sala interest

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock has admitted that he has no intention of reviving his interest in Nantes striker Emiliano Sala.

The French club have rejected a bid by the Bluebirds for the 28-year-old Argentine forward but Warnock will look elsewhere to increase his strike options rather than increase his offer for the player.

Callum Paterson and Kenneth Zohore are both currently sidelined, but Warnock would only say: "We did originally (make an offer) but that was turned down and we haven't been back since.

"We won't have a gun pointed to our head figures-wise. Sala's a good player but there's no guarantee he is going to come and rip the Premier League up. It's a different standard."

Former Bordeaux star Sala has scored 13 goals in 18 games for Nantes so far this season and is reportedly valued at £25million.

Cardiff have only scored 18 goals in 19 league games this season and are 8/11 to be relegated after drawing 0-0 at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.

Warnock's team are 5/1 to win at Leicester City on Saturday and 10/1 to draw 0-0 with the Foxes, who have beaten Chelsea and Manchester City in their last two fixtures.

"Ken Zohore could be out for a few weeks – he has pulled his thigh muscle which is a shame because I wanted to play him (at Crystal Palace)," Warnock added.

"I wanted to see if he was going to play like he has trained in the last few weeks. He has worked so hard so it's really disappointing for Ken and for us."

Warnock: City must keep going

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock believes it is vital that his side continue to impress on home turf, having won three in a row at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The Bluebirds have lifted themselves out of the Premier League bottom three thanks to victories over Brighton, Wolves and Southampton, although Warnock is only too aware that their next two home games could be even tougher.

Manchester United are the visitors on Saturday, while New Year's Day sees Tottenham Hotspur make the journey to South Wales.

Warnock told reporters: "We're very disappointed we haven't got more points, at least seven or eight points, but it's not for the lack of trying.

"We've got to keep going, our home form is important when you look at home games, probably against Manchester United or Tottenham, you're not going to guarantee points – but I do think anything is possible at home."

Cardiff are 11/2 to defeat the Red Devils on Saturday and are 16/5 to secure a draw, with a 1-1 final scoreline available at 7/1.

Meanwhile, Warnock also admitted that the hunt for potential new recruits for the January transfer window is proving to be a time-consuming effort.

He added: "We've looked at so many now I'm almost dizzy. It's difficult, we agreed a fee with a club, but they came back and put another couple of million on top.

"I don't think we're going to be held to ransom, if that's the case we'll stick with what we've got."

City continue to be strongly linked with Argentinian striker Emiliano Sala, who has scored 12 goals in 15 Ligue 1 appearances for Nantes this season.

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Warnock looking for away boost

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock has challenged his team to start taking their improved home form into their away games, starting at Watford on Saturday.

The Bluebirds have won four of their last five Premier League matches at the Cardiff City Stadium, but have gained just one point on their travels so far this term – that coming from a goalless draw at Huddersfield Town in late August.

We've got to try and start picking up points away.

Neil Warnock

And Warnock believes an improvement on the road would be a huge help to his side, especially as their next two home games are against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur

He told reporters: "You don't want to lose games away from home, but sometimes the results away are the ones you can't predict. Anyone outside the top five or six, there are surprising results.

"You get punished a lot more away from home and it's been our own fault away, we've shot ourselves in the foot. We're learning and we've improved as the season has gone on.

"We've got to try and start picking up points away. We always knew the home form would be critical, but it's given us a bit of leeway – especially with these difficult games coming up."

An Adam Le Fondre goal gave City a 1-0 win the last time they visited Vicarage Road, in November 2014.

Cardiff can be backed at 16/1 to win 1-0 again on Saturday, while they are 29/10 to earn a draw against the Hornets, with the Bluebirds 11/10 not to be relegated come the end of the season.

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