Jazz Richards: Cardiff City defender's performances please boss Neil Harris

By Chris WathanBBC Sport Wales
Jazz Richards
Jazz Richards joined Cardiff City from Fulham on a three-year deal in July 2016

Cardiff boss Neil Harris has told defender Jazz Richards to keep up his "outstanding" form if he wants a Wales recall.

Richards was part of Chris Coleman's Euro 2016 squad but has not featured under Ryan Giggs.

After injury problems, the 28-year-old has impressed under Harris.

"Jazz has enough experience to know that all he can do for himself, looking at the national team, is take care of his own performances ," Harris said.

"At the moment he's doing that."

As well as the target of pushing for a Euro 2020 place, Richards also sees his Cardiff contract expire at the end of the season.

Harris says he has not spoken to the full-back - or striker Danny Ward - over a new deal as yet, but the 14-cap international has started the last six games for the Bluebirds, his best run in the side in three years following a succession of fitness problems.

Jazz Richards
Jazz Richards made one substitute's appearance at Euro 2016

"We can all see Jazz's ability, I've known it over the years as an opposing manager," Harris said.

"We've been really pleased with his performances. We have to be really careful not to push him too hard, and be patient with him, but he's now in a position where he just wants to play football and wants to play every day because he's missed so much through his career.

"He'll be looking at it and saying I'm playing a run of games in the Championship in a side that's doing well and his own form is outstanding.

"Jazz needs to focus on just continuing his run of games. He's experienced enough to know performances take care of themselves with football, whether that's with contracts with Cardiff or another club or international ambitions in the summer."

Richards is expected to feature in this weekend's trip to Stoke, with Harris keen to maintain recent momentum towards the top-six.

"It's our aim - you have to challenge players," he said. "The players here expect a play-off push and to challenge.

"Three or four weeks ago we were thinking 'possibly' but really looking at next season - now we're not a million miles away and we want to push.

"Let's embrace the play-off challenge. While it's there for us let's keep pushing."

Midfielder Joe Ralls is contention for the game at Stoke having missed the last six matches with a glute muscle problem.

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