Kenwyne Jones set to return as Cardiff aim to end goal drought

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport
Russell Slade
Russell Slade took over as Cardiff City manager following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2014

Cardiff City manager Russell Slade says Kenwyne Jones' return from injury will be a "massive" lift as the Bluebirds aim to end their goal drought.

Jones came on as a substitute in the 1-0 defeat at Leeds and could make his first Championship start since 3 October against Reading on Saturday.

Cardiff have scored twice in their last six games and lie ninth in the table.

"I don't see it as a catastrophe. The facts are we are three points off the play-offs," said Slade.

"Come Saturday at five we could be touching the play-offs. I don't think that is a bad scenario to be in. There's no need to panic at this moment in time.

"I think it's absolutely massive we're getting those types of players [Jones] back. It will give us a few more options."

Cardiff's barren spell

Eight hours and 55 minutes of play have elapsed since a Cardiff player scored, with Joe Mason striking five minutes into the 1-1 draw at Brighton on 3 October.

Since then, the Bluebirds have managed one win against Middlesbrough but that was an own goal by George Friend.

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"You have to ask the question 'Why are we not in the top six?' because that's where we all want to be," said Slade.

"It will be the fact maybe other teams have one or two more options, it may well be that teams are clearly creating more chances than us.

"They're having more shots on target than us and got that extra little bit of composure. That's something we need to work on."

Peter Whittingham misses the game against Reading
Cardiff's Peter Whittingham misses the game against Reading after making 15 appearances so far this season.

Turner and Ecuele Manga close to returns

Cardiff midfielder Peter Whittingham will miss Saturday's match against Reading because of a one-match suspension after he received his fifth booking of the season at Leeds.

Meanwhile, Ben Turner has returned to full training, while fellow centre-back Bruno Ecuele Manga and striker Federico Macheda are both close to returning to full fitness.

Most significant for Slade, however, is the recovery of last season's top-scorer Jones.

"It is very good news that Kenwyne is back, it is a massive boost for us," added the former Leyton Orient manager.

"It has been very frustrating to have to be without him following his injury on international duty and having him back gives us more options.

"You need to have players who offer different threats and we have not had enough of that in recent games as we have been a bit limited in terms of the forwards we have had available."

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