Cardiff City: Neil Warnock happy with Neil Etheridge's Asian Cup absence

Neil Etheridge celebrates his penalty save
Neil Etheridge has won 62 caps for the Philippines

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock says it is a "great help" that goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was not selected by the Philippines for January's Asian Cup.

Etheridge, 28, was set to play in the opener against South Korea on 7 January, and could have missed one Premier League and one FA Cup game.

Warnock said he spoke with Philippines boss Sven Goran-Eriksson.

"He was really pleased Neil was in the Cardiff first team and wanted him to stay in the first team," said Warnock.

Etheridge said: "Of course it was a difficult decision. Playing in the Premier League, the best league in the world, it is hard to leave behind.

"As far as I know, the national team have understood it."

Etheridge saved James Maddison's late penalty in a man-of-the-match display in the 1-0 win at Leicester City on Saturday, Cardiff's first away victory of the season.

He has made three penalty saves this season, the most in the top flight.

"The Philippines are quite proud of him being in the team so that's a great help to me... especially when he comes up with a save like that," said Warnock.

Philippine Football Federation president Maiano Araneta said it understood "the importance of Neil with Cardiff".

Cardiff face Tottenham in the league on 1 January and Gillingham in the FA Cup third round on 5 January.

The Asian Cup runs from 5 January to 1 February in the United Arab Emirates.

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