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Jan 5, 2019 at 3pm UK at ​Priestfield Stadium
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Warnock keen to avoid negative headline on FA Cup weekend

Warnock keen to avoid negative headline on FA Cup weekend
© Reuters
The Bluebirds boss will rotate his team following a busy festive programme.

Neil Warnock has told his Cardiff squad not to become an "FA Cup headline" at Gillingham.

Cardiff have become accustomed to playing the role of Premier League underdogs this season following their promotion to the top flight last May.

But the Bluebirds take on the mantle of FA Cup giants on Saturday when they make a third-round trip to Sky Bet League One side Gillingham.

"There'll be changes to the team, that's for sure, but I want to progress in the competition and we'll be taking a strong squad to Kent," boss Warnock told cardiffcityfc.co.uk.

"It's good to be favourites, but you don't want to be a statistic.

"We don't want to be a headline this weekend, that's for sure.

"From Gillingham's perspective they'll see it as a great opportunity of course."

Cardiff have some insight on Gillingham, 18th in their division and 45 places below the Bluebirds on the league ladder, as first-team coach Ronnie Jepson managed them between 2005 and 2007.

Jepson keeps a close eye on his former club and Warnock says the Bluebirds have tapped into that knowledge.

"Ronnie knows the club well and he's told us that Gillingham have a decent side this season," he said.

"At this stage of the competition, there are always tough games and we'll need to be at our best.

"Our travelling fans have such a long way to go this weekend, so I'll be doing my utmost to make sure we get the right result."

Warnock will rotate his side after the busy festive programme and next weekend's massive showdown with relegation rivals Huddersfield.

Victor Camarasa, Sol Bamba, Harry Arter and Neil Etheridge will be stood down as several fringe players get an opportunity.

Cameron Coxe, James Waite and Lloyd Humphries will also travel after impressing for the under-23 side.

"We've used the squad a lot over the Christmas period, and I think that holds us in good stead for the run-in," Warnock said.

"We'll be looking at who needs the game time as part of our thinking.

"Those lads who aren't currently in my starting XI for the Premier League games are desperate to break into the team, so maybe this will give them that opportunity."


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