Date: 17th May 2011 at 1:23pm
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Cardiff City manager Dave Jones faces the unenviable task of deciding whether Craig Bellamy will feature tonight as he recovers from the tight hamstring that forced him off early in the first leg.

It seems Jones is happy to delegate that tricky decision to Bellamy himself, who knows his own body best and has done well in managing his fitness over the season so far. If Craig gives the OK, maybe Jones would over-rule him.

The decision is complicated by the importance of the fixture – if a routine league game, Bellamy would have been declared unavailable already. He certainly could play, having trained earlier this week, but that risks him missing the showpiece final – if we beat Reading. There is a case of resting him for that Premiership decider, but of course our chances of reaching that game are boosted if he playes.

Of course there is a happy medium to be considered, whereby Craig Bellamy is named on the bench. That gives Reading something else to consider when planning their tactics, and could provide the inspiration and industry we need if the game is slipping away from us. If, however, we are making use of our home advantage and lead the game – there would be no need to risk Bellamy.

One way or another, Criag Bellamy will be involved tonight. Either by his inclusion or absence. Whichever scenario bears out, hopefully he will be arounf the rest of the squad and present in the dressing room – his fight and character could yet prove decisive even if he doesn’t step onto the pitch.