Cardiff City: Boss Slade frustrated by international relations

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport
Kenwyne Jones in action for Trinidad and Tobago
Kenwyne Jones has played 73 times for Trinidad and Tobago

Cardiff City manager Russell Slade is concerned about his players' fitness when they are on international duty.

Kenwyne Jones and Bruno Ecuele Manga were injured when with Trinidad and Tobago and Gabon last month.

Ecuele Manga remains sidelined, while Jones is set to captain his country in a World Cup qualifier against Guatemala on Saturday.

"Communication sometimes is very poor and we find that frustrating as a football club," said Slade.

"It's a concern with all your international players, particularly the ones where you don't get the feedback on exactly where they're at, what they're doing, what training they've done, what injuries they've picked up.

"That communication has to improve because they're our players. We're paying for the players and that's the frustration."

Club versus country

Friction between club and international managers has been a prominent theme in recent weeks, following a dispute between Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and his Wales counterpart Chris Coleman concerning an injury to midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

Bruno Ecuele Manga in action for Gabon
Bruno Ecuela Manga joined Cardiff City in 2014

Slade was frustrated when Gabon were slow to give Cardiff details about centre-back Ecuele Manga's groin injury in October.

The Cardiff manager found it similarly difficult to glean information from Trinidad and Tobago when Jones suffered a shin injury during the same international break.

"Sometimes we don't quite know what's been done [on international duty], what training's been done, how they've picked up the injury and what treatment has started," said Slade.

"Sometimes in those first few days when you've picked up an injury, it's absolutely massive because it can save you if you're doing it right."

Jones' scoring return

Jones marked his first start for Cardiff since the October international break with a goal in Saturday's 2-0 win against Reading.

Ecuele Manga has returned to training and could be in contention for a return after the November internationals, while Jones has two fixtures for Trinidad and Tobago with a World Cup qualifier against the United States on 17 November to follow their match against Guatemala three days earlier.

"Last time Manga and Kenwyne went away, both picked up injuries and this was Kenwyne's first start and we've got him fit for the internationals again," added Slade.

"I know I'm being a bit cynical there but it's frustrating. We know injuries happen but we just want to be notified exactly what it is and get these players back under our control as quickly as possible."

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