Cardiff City Supersub - Gavin Rae?!?
Cardiff City were hit by a number of injuires for the weekend game with Hull City meaning a depleted attacking line and new look midfield were named including Stephen McPhail, in for Drinkwater and still finding his way back to fitness.
It was unfortunate and worrying therefore when Seyi Olifinjana was withdrawn in the second half with an injury - especially given that Hull City were in the ascendency and enjoying a great deal of possession. At 1-0, we have oft looked fragile and have gifted points on a regular basis over the seasons through sitting back and failing to kill off the game.
Gavin Rae was the man Dave Jones brought on to replace the physical and imposing figure of Olifinjana after a proposed move to Leeds United fell through for Rae last week.
He remains the 'forgotten man' well down the pecking order despite being a regular first team player over the past three years.
Gavin Rae provides work-rate, enthusiasm and a dogged presence in the heart of midfield, but he has been criticised for not contributing enough over the past year and his partnerships with Ledley and McPhail were too lightweight and often outfought.
However, on Saturday - Rae was reborn! He chased, harried and distributed as well as he has ever done and somfortably filled the sizeable gap left by Olifinjana's departure. To cap it all, Rae finished a delightful team move to claim a rare goal and seal the three points for the Bluebirds.
A chip forward to Andy Keogh saw the on-loan Wolves man chest down neatly to Whittingham on the left flank. Whitts drigfted infield before finding the onrushing substitute Aaron Wildig who drove forward before wrong-footing the Hull City defence with a delightful reverse pass with the outside of his foot. Rae was as surprised as any but controlled before stretching out to poke the ball between Hull 'keeper Matt Duke's legs - the finish wasn't the prettiest but they all count!
There's no doubt that Cardiff City have the strongest squad since Rae joined on a free transfer from Rangers back in the summer of 2007. He faces competition from Olifinjana, Drinkwater, Whittingham, McPhail and Koumas while Wildig, Taiwo and Blake also hope to feature. Dave Jones is willing to let Rae leave on loan, but it seems if he does stay, he will offer added squad depth and serious competition for places.