Cardiff Options In Ledley Absence
Cardiff City will be missing a key and consistent player tomorrow when Wolves are the visitors for the FA Cup 5th round tie. Dave Jones does not have the luxury of a large squad so will have to re-arrange things to cover. These are the more likely options:
1) Paul Parry could drop from attack into a more usual wide role. He would feature on the right, with Whittingham on the left. This would mean starts for both Thompson and Hasselbaink up-front, plenty of power but no pace.
2) McPhail returns in midfield with either Aaron Ramsey, Darcy Blake or Jon Brown playing out-of position on the right side of midfield.
3) Tony Capaldi could move up-field and operate in midfield. He has played there for N. Ireland and Plymouth. This would mean either a start for youngster Matt Smith at left-back, or McNaughton swapping sides and Darcy Blake covering at right-back.
4) A 3 man defence of Purse / Loovens / Johnson. Capaldi and McNaughton could operate as wingbacks with Whittingham and Parry providing width up-field.
5) Trevor Sinclair is not yet match fit, but could be thrown into the fray on the right, with Whittingham on the left wing. However, Sinclair has not played for 3 months and would be very short of match practise.
There are of course other options open to Dave Jones, but the most likely change sees the one made on Tuesday when McPhail replaced the injured Ledley. McPhail will be hurt after being dropped and has a point to prove. It's tough to be without Ledley, who has impressed all season, hopefully Cardiff can cope well in his absence and progress to the next round of the cup.
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