Cardiff City: Defender Bruno Ecuele Manga returns to fitness

Bruno Ecuele Manga
Bruno Ecuele Manga was signed by former Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Cardiff City manager Russell Slade says Gabon defender Bruno Ecuele Manga is fit to face Bournemouth after recovering from a knee injury.

The 26-year-old has not played for the Bluebirds since the defeat to Bolton at the beginning of November.

Manga, signed for more than £5m in September from French side FC Lorient, has missed Cardiff's last four games.

"We're pleased to have him back because going forward he's a part of our group," Slade said.

"There's question marks over match fitness because it's a long time since he was fit enough to play.

"But we're delighted he's on his way back now and he's in our 20-man squad."

Gabon international Manga returns to the reckoning having missed Cardiff's last four games in the Championship in which they only conceded one goal.

Sean Morrison and Ben Turner started the last four games and Slade is pleased with the defensive displays in recent weeks.

"It gives you a platform to keep those clean sheets," Slade said.

"It's just getting that balance right. You've still got to be a threat going forward obviously and that's very important.

"But by the same token it was massively important to tighten up because we were leaking goals and for 11 games we hadn't kept a clean sheet.

"To keep three in four is quite pleasing."

Slade also said there is no truth in reports linking the club with a move for Celtic striker Anthony Stokes.

Celtic boss Ronny Deila insisted the Republic of Ireland international was part of his team-building plans and Slade has also dismissed the rumours.

"It's that time of year and you're going to get linked with different players up and down the country and abroad," Slade said.

"But there's nothing in that one."

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