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Warnock keen to avoid negative headline on FA Cup weekend

PA | 2mo
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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1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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