Rickie Lambert: Warnock warns striker over game time

Paul Trollope and Rickie Lambert
Rickie Lambert (R) signed for Cardiff when Neil Warnock's predecessor Paul Trollope (L) was in charge

England international Rickie Lambert is unlikely to play many Cardiff City games in 2017-18, says boss Neil Warnock.

The former Liverpool striker, 35, was Cardiff's star signing when he joined from West Brom in the summer of 2016.

Warnock says he will prefer Kenneth Zohore and new signing Danny Ward.

"If Zahore's fit and Ward's fit, he's not going to get much (game time) at all, is he? He's not daft," said Warnock.

Lambert scored only four goals in 13 league starts in 2016-17.

"It's a catch-22 situation for Rickie - he wants to get fit enough to play enough in the Championship, yet he needs games to get himself fit," said Warnock.

"We haven't been able to do that on either front."

Back in training

Former Cardiff boss Paul Trollope signed Lambert on a two-year deal in August, 2016.

The last of Lambert's four Cardiff goals came in a 3-1 defeat at Aston Villa on 26 November.

He was restricted mostly to substitute appearances under Warnock as Zohore established himself as Cardiff's first-choice striker.

"We're back in training this week so I'll be having a chat with Rickie and one or two others over the next week or so," said Warnock.

"I think it (Lambert's future) will be sorted over the next fortnight. I can't see it dragging on into the summer."

Signings on Warnock's mind

Warnock has also confirmed he wants to sign a further three players before the new season.

Cardiff have already Ward from Rotherham United.

The Bluebirds have also recruited goalkeepers Lee Camp and Neil Etheridge on free transfers, as well as Scotland defender Callum Paterson and winger Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

"I'd like to bring in probably two midfield players, at least one of them being able to play in the hole behind a striker," said Warnock.

"And I'd like to sign another utility (player), a Jonny Hayes (former Aberdeen winger who went to Celtic) type player that I was looking at earlier in the window."

Warnock also confirmed he hopes to agree a new contract for defender Sol Bamba, and insisted midfielder Aron Gunnarsson was still a big part of his plans despite reports linking the Iceland international with moving away.

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