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Thursday, May 5, 2011
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SHOCKING
Price: 49p
Echo Main May 05 11 49p ISSN:1479-2303
JAMIE ROBERTS says hes ready
to play wherever hes needed for
the injury-hit Blues as they lookto
secure a Magners League play-off
spot.
The Cardiff-based region are
down to the bare bones in the
backs, with Leigh Halfpenny, Ben
Blair, Richard Mustoe and the re-
tiredTomShanklinall unavailable
anddoubtsoverCaseyLaulalaand
Tom James.
That could result in the versatile
Roberts having to line upat either
centre, full-back or wing in to-
morrows must-win clash away to
the Scarlets.
Ive always said if theres boys
injured and I have to figure some-
whereelseImmorethanhappyto
do that, said the Wales and Lions
centre.
Its about the team. Its not
about individuals.
Wherever he plays, Roberts will
belookingtodigdeepas theBlues
go in search of the win that would
guaranteethemaMagnerssemi-fi-
Roberts ready to step in
to boost injury-hit Blues
Simon Thomas
simon.thomas@walesonline.co.uk
nal spot.
Ive played quite a bit during
the Six Nations and since it, and
the body does need a rest, he
said.
But thesolefocus at theminute
is the Magners League.
Firstandforemost, Ivegotajob
to do this weekend.
There has been a lot of talk
about my role in the team.
I need to make sure I am util-
ised as a carrier, a decoy, a ball
player.
Its very important I chop and
change that through the game.
But, at the end of the day, its
not all about me.
I think the most important
thing is balance in the backline.
Its about howwe combine well
as a unit.
BLUES AIMING FOR A PARC
Y SCARLETS REPEAT SHOW:
Pages 44&45
CARDIFF legend Nathan Blake says
he is shocked and stunned by al-
legations that Bluebirds players were
out clubbing and drinking in the city
centre ahead of last Mondays crucial
Championship clash against Middles-
brough.
The Echo columnist was reacting to
stories in the London press which
claimed that a group of players were
seeninaCardiff citycentrenightclub
in the early hours of Saturday morn-
ing in the run-up to a game that the
Bluebirds lost 3-0 to end their auto-
matic promotion hopes.
Accordingtoreports, Bluebirds boss
Dave Jones tore into his players for
being out in the early hours ahead of
a game.
I hope this is not true andits some
kind of wind-up, said former Welsh
international striker Blake.
If it is true they (the players) have
let themselves down and the City
supporters down.
This cant be right. Im in total
shock, speechlessinfact. Itsshocking,
I have butterflies in my stomach just
thinking how anybody could be that
stupid. I am very angry if this is true.
Cardiff could have piled the pres-
sure on Norwich City with a win on
Monday, but instead you had a Nor-
wichCitysidefull of confidencegoing
into their game at Portsmouth, know-
ing that a win would earn them
Premier League football next sea-
son.
There are boundaries for profes-
sional players and not drinking 72
hours before a game is one of them,
most dont drink in the week any-
way.
Imnot surehowanyplayerswould
think they can get away with it, you
cant defend the indefensible its
beyond being stupid.
Managerscant keepplayersunder
lock and key, they have everything
done for them and are treated like
children at times, but there comes a
point when you have to make a de-
cision on your own as an adult.
I stress, if this is true and I hope it
isnt, because I still cant get my head
around it, I would love to ask the
players involved one thing: Why?.
If players want to go out on the
razzle there are plenty of opportun-
ities to do so after the season is
over.
View from the stands plus former
Bluebirds star on the Boro debacle:
Pages 46&47
Mark Bloom
mark.bloom@walesonline.co.uk Blake is stunned at clubbing
allegations ahead of key game
CARDIFF CITY FC OFFICIAL STATEMENT
Cardiff City Football Club are aware of the allegations concerning
socialising by a small minority of players in the days leading up to the
Middlesbrough league fixture. We would like to make it known that the
allegations have been addressed internally and that the full focus of
Club staff and the whole squad is now on our final league game of the
season at Burnley on Saturday.
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