Rickie Lambert': Ex-England striker's Cardiff City future in doubt

Rickie Lambert
Rickie Lambert has scored three goals in 11 appearances for England

Rickie Lambert faces an uncertain future at Cardiff City after manager Neil Warnock said the striker does not currently feature in his first-team plans.

England international Lambert joined from West Brom in August but has only scored four goals.

A combination of injuries and indifferent form mean the 35-year-old has not played since 11 February.

"He's fully fit but it's not a matter of him being fit now.," Warnock said.

"Is he better than the others on the squad at the moment? I've felt not."

"He is training but at the moment I don't think he's happy with his fitness. He's going to be training hard and trying to get back in the squad."

Lambert signed a two-year deal when he joined on transfer deadline day in August, but Warnock hinted he could be ready to sell players who are under contract at the end of the season.

Cardiff, who host Brentford on Saturday, are 14th in the Championship table and have little to play for in their remaining six games of this campaign.

"I'm more or less 90% sure of what I want to do [in the summer] but that's easier said than done when people are under contract," Warnock added.

Junior Hoilett,
Junior Hoilett, has also played for Blackburn Rovers and Queens Park Rangers

One player who looks set to stay next season is winger Junior Hoilett, who Warnock signed as a free agent soon after he was appointed manager in October.

Hoilett, 26, is out of contract at the end of this campaign but Warnock is keen to keep the player he managed at Queens Park Rangers.

"There's no problem with Junior if I'm here," he said.

"He'll be here next year. I'm very optimistic of that."

Cardiff will be without Sol Bamba against Brentford after the centre-back had to leave the field during Tuesday's 0-0 draw at Barnsley because of a groin injury.

Goalkeeper Allan McGregor also went off injured, but the Scotland international has not yet been ruled out of Saturday's fixture.

"It's difficult to say with Sol, he's had a scan. He won't be available for the weekend but we don't know the state of it. It doesn't look good," said Warnock.

"McGregor's bruising has gone down a lot and if there's any doubt he won't play. Brian Murphy [Cardiff's second-choice keeper] has done well when he's played."

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