Back In Your Box Bellamy !
Cardiff City made a much-needed return to form on Tuesday evening after a morale-boosting win over Leeds United. That made it back-to-back home wins for the Bluebirds, and two games in which Craig Bellamy was a hugely influential architect in our wins.
Bellamy created the first and scored the second in a 2-0 win over Coventry, before slotting the first in the 2-1 win over Leeds United. On both occasions he was a constant menace and a potent attacking threat.
However, Tuesday night marked somewhat of a risk for Dave Jones in that Bellamy had played a full 90 minutes just days beforehand during the 3-0 defeat at Bristol City. His troublesome knee injury has been well managed this year, courtesy of a personalised training regimen devised by his physio Raymond Verheijen. That plan specifically states that Craig should not play two full games within the same week.
As an 'explosive' player, Bellamy's style places severe pressure on his already weak knee, while it was long felt he was overtraining and causing inflammation and flare-ups which saw his sidelined. Saturday to Tuesday is a short turnaround for any player, and was a difficult ask for the on-loan Manchester City man. The gamble was taken since we were despoerate for a result, and already without Bothroyd and Parkin - and appears to have paid off (barring any complications this week).
Now, Bellamy should be rested and kept fresh for our next league game, against Norwich in 10 dyas time. Any thoughts he should play in the FA Cup tie on Saturday are surely misplaced, and we would be much better served holding him back for the Championship promotion push.
Koumas, Whittingham or Keogh could operate on the left, and the last thing we want is to over-play Bellamy in a (essentially meaningless) FA Cup game and risk injury problems. The Christmas period is always fixture-heavy, and following 2 games in 4 days, Bellamy is due, and deserves an enforced rest - whether he wants to play or not !