FRESH ENERGY

The manager of Cardiff City, Malky Mackay, has said that he had dropped Craig Bellamy from the starting line up against Fulham just to bring in some fresh energy. Mackay insisted that the 34 years-old Welsh forward is still a vital player for him.

In the match against Fulham, Bellamy was replaced by Peter Odemwingie in the starting XI of Cardiff. Bellamy did come onto the ground, but, towards the end of the game.

Nevertheless, Cardiff won that match by 2-1 courtesy an injury time goal by Jordon Mutch.

In a press conference yesterday, when Mackay was asked about his decision of not including Bellamy in the starting line up against Fulham, he said, “I just wanted to have some fresh energy in the XI. So, I went with Peter.”

Quitting international football

Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay believes Craig Bellamy should retire from international football in order to prolong his club career. It is expected that Bellamy will retire from playing for Wales once the FIFA World Cup qualifiers come to an end in October and according his club manager, the decision will ultimately turn out to be good for the player.

According to Mackay, it is time that the former Newcastle United and Liverpool man calls time on his international career as he has said he will do so that a new breed of players from an entirely new generation comes through. He went on to add that the veteran striker has had a long history of injuries and the lack of traveling for international football will only be good for his career.

BELLAMY IS BACK

The manager of Cardiff City, Malky Mackay, has made it clear that Craig Bellamy will return for the match against Blackburn Rovers which is going to be played at Cardiff City Stadium on Monday.

Bellamy was not included in the Cardiff City squad for the previous match against Peterborough United. He was just back from the national duty and after playing for Wales for full 90 minutes in the World Cup qualifying matches against Croatia and Scotland, he was completely exhausted. So, Mackay decided to rest him.

The Australian soccer season

The Australian A-League season is fast approaching the end of the regular season – with this weekend being week 24 of the 27 that make up this part of the season. Thus a lot of those interested in betting on the winners of the A-League will be eager to get their bets in before the top six sides at the end of regular season move on to the elimination finals. At the moment, you could either bet on which teams will make it to this stage, or on the outright winners of the championship, but are there any tips to help with this?

POOR FORM

The manager of Cardiff City, Malky Mackay, has admitted that his team played poor football in the match against Brighton & Hove Albion, but, he has assured the fans that the team will bounce back in the next match against the Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Cardiff City was defeated by Brighton & Hove Albion by 2-0 on Tuesday. This was only the seventh defeat for Cardiff City in the ongoing Championship. However, despite this defeat, Cardiff City maintained its top position in the points table.
This was Cardiff City’s first defeat in the last 10 matches.

Talking to the reporters in the post match press conference, Mackay said, “We have played amazingly well in this season, but, in today’s match, our performance was poor. But, this happens once in a while. You can’t put up top performances every day.”

“Today, we let our fans down, but, I want to assure them that the team will bounce back against the Wolves.”
“We shouldn’t asses this defeat in a different manner. It was just one of those days when a lot of things went wrong for us. It’s not going to happen every day.”

When asked if there was a sign of complacency in team’s performance today, Mackay said, “No, not at all. It’s not that the boys didn’t try today. They tried hard, but, it was not their day.”

“We haven’t got complacent at all. The players are working hard during the training sessions and they are giving their 100% on the field. But, as I said, things do go wrong occasionally and that’s what happened today.”

Cardiff City has played 32 matches in the ongoing Championship so far out of which they have won 21, lost 7 and in the remaining 4 matches, they have shared points.

BELLAMY WILL SCORE

The Cardiff city defender Ben Turner is of the opinion that the former Manchester city and Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy will be a major source of goals for the club in the second half of the season. The Welsh international recently returned to the Cardiff city starting line-up.

Even though he has scored just three goals in the 12 appearances for the team, Turner believes that he will hit his peak once he has played 10 matches because it is usually the threshold for a player who has just returned from injury. Cardiff city will have the opportunity to use Bellamy in the match against Peterborough United this weekend.

This match also provides a perfect opportunity for the 32-year-old to get some confidence under the belt because Peterborough United are currently bottom of the table. They will be coming up against a team that is at the top of the table. After struggling to get promotion to the play-offs over the past few seasons, Cardiff finally look to get into the Premier league through automatic places. Turner has said that due to the fact that Bellamy has played at the very top level, he will be able to provide them with massive experience over the rest of the campaign.

“Bellers is going to be a huge threat in 2013. He changes games, scores important goals and is a massive influence on the rest of the players here. Any player needs 10 games to be firing on full cylinders and when Craig gets those under his belt he will be a massive threat. He has played at the top level and knows what is needed," said Ben Turner in a recent interview. After the match against Peterborough United, the club will be featuring the likes of Leicester City and Crystal Palace.

BELLAMY EXCITED AT RETURN

The former Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy has said that he cannot wait to make this return to the Cardiff City first-team after suffering from injury problems in recent weeks. The 33-year-old has been in the United States up until now in order to undergo treatment for the ankle injury he has been suffering from in recent weeks. He has missed the last four matches for the bluebirds and is very much looking forward to getting back on the pitch as soon as possible. Cardiff have made a good start to the new Championship season and they are one of the favourites to win the promotion to the top flight.

They are currently in the second place only behind Crystal Palace at the top of the table. Only two points separate the two teams and Craig Bellamy is confident that this will finally be the year Cardiff City make an appearance in the Premier league. The team has faltered on many occasions in recent seasons at the play-off stage due to the failure to make it into the automatic qualifying spot. This time around, they will not be making the same mistake according to the former Liverpool and Manchester City striker.

“Having Craig back is massive boost to us. He’s been training really well this week and is raring to go. He went to a rehab centre in America with (club physio) Sean Connelly and had a tough week. Any club would miss Craig, he’s a fantastic professional and demands everything from those around him. It’s a huge plus to get him back,” said the Cardiff City assistant manager David Kerslake in a recent interview. The two losses in the last five matches where the reason for Cardiff City finding themselves in the second spot in the Championship.

CARDIFF HOLD OUT ON LEEDS

Cardiff City has defeated Leeds United by 2-1 at Cardiff City stadium. It was a pretty close encounter and could have gone either way. But, the Cardiff players made some brilliant moves in the second half and took the game away from Leeds.

The Wales international, Craig Bellamy, performed phenomenally for Cardiff in the match. He came to play as substitute in the second half of the match and looked in fine form. Both the teams started the match pretty well and gave each other a tough fight in the first half. Neither of the two teams was able to find the net in the first half.

Bellamy made a mark immediately after his arrival on the field. The Cardiff team earned a free kick in the 67th minute of the match and Bellamy made no mistake in latching on that free kick. He beat the Leeds goalkeeper, Paddy Kenny, with a powerful shot. The ball went into the far corner of the goal post and Cardiff got ahead in the match.

After scoring the first goal, the Cardiff team started playing with more aggression. It took Cardiff players just 5 minutes to double the lead of their team. Cardiff got a penalty in the 72nd minute and Mark Hudson didn’t have any problem in converting that penalty into goal.

After being down by 2-0, the Leeds players got a bit nervous and there were some poor shots played by them. However, the Leeds team succeeded in finding the net in the 75th minute when Austin used the free kick perfectly to bring his team back into the match.

Austin was on the verge of scoring the leveller just a few minutes later, but, his shot went over the bar of the goal post. The Cardiff defenders prevented the Leeds United players to find the net for the second time in the match. The Cardiff team maintained the lead till the 90th minute and won the match. Cardiff City will play its next match against Millwall on 18th of September at The Den.

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BELLAMY WILL BE FIT

Team GB striker Craig Bellamy has said that he expects to be fit for the second match for the team when they take on UAE on Sunday. Team GB will be playing UAE at the Wembley, but the former Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy is a major fitness doubt. He scored in the 1-1 draw with a cynical strike against Senegal in the opening match, but was left injured after being clattered by a challenge from Saliou Ciss. Craig Bellamy has a history of fitness problems and it was initially thought that he would be a major doubt for the match against UAE.

The 1-1 draw with Senegal means that Team GB should aim for a victory against UAE in order to realistically remain with the hopes of winning the Olympic gold medal. Craig Bellamy is one of the three overage players taken by the manager Stuart Pearce. Bellamy has said that he is extremely happy to have represented Team GB at Old Trafford, which he claims to be a magnificent stadium. The match against UAE will be played at the new Wembley, which is also a special day out for the fans and indeed the players according to the former Manchester City striker.

"I just tweaked my [knee] medial ligament but it should be alright... I felt physically quite good. I do have to realise that I am two weeks into pre-season [training], as much as this is a competitive international. I think you could see [in] the last 20 minutes, half-an-hour, that it just caught us a little bit, but the great thing about football and the great thing about us is we've got another game coming up soon," said Craig Bellamy ahead of the match with United Arab Emirates on Sunday. Despite being almost 40 years of age, Ryan Giggs is expected to play in this match.

Liverpool face long journey

Liverpool have discovered their fate in the draw for the the Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round, in which they will face either FK Renova of Macedonia or FC Gomel of Belarus.

The latter currently looks more likely following Gomel’s 2-0 victory away from home in the first leg of their 2nd Round clash.

The prospect of a journey deep into Eastern Europe for the away leg on the 2nd August will leave players and fans alike envious of Tottenham’s good luck in the draw for their Europa League Playoff last year. Spurs were handed an away tie in Edinburgh against Heart of Midlothian, a stone’s throw away compared to the potential 2800 mile round trip Liverpool face if the Belarusians can maintain their advantage in the second leg, to be played on Thursday.

Whichever side they face, a Liverpool victory will be considered a formality, with the top players of either potential opponent earning weekly wages in the hundreds of pounds rather than hundreds of thousands of pounds, but new manager Brendan Rodgers will be eager not to let complacency become an issue in his first competitive games in charge.

Should they progress, Liverpool will be desperate for a more geographically favourable draw for the final Qualification Playoff, the second leg of which is scheduled to be played on the 23rd August, just three days before Liverpool’s first home Premier League game of the season against champions Manchester City.

Rodgers has urged his side not to “moan and groan” about the draw they have been given, and to remain focussed on progressing to the Europa League proper.

However, should Liverpool reach the Group Stage, the headaches caused by the weekly inconvenience of Thursday trips to the furthest reaches of the continent could outweigh any pride taken from competing in European competition, with Rodgers’ priority undoubtedly to improve upon the league form that last year saw Liverpool finish in 8th place- their lowest position in 18 years.

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