Date: 9th February 2011 at 10:44am
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Cardiff City midfielder Stephen McPhail has returned to action as he turned out for the Bluebirds reserves in a 2-1 victory against Newport County yesterday.

The Irish midfielder had been out of action for several weeks after limping out of the FA Cup replay against Stoke City in the first half. McPhail suffered a minor tear to his hamstring but returned to training last week and got some much needed gametime for the reserves.

It will be a tough ask for McPhail to break back into the first team, however, with Aaron Ramsey and Seyi Olofinjana clear favourites for the central midfield positions. Further, if one was unavailable – or when Ramsey returns to Arsenal – it seems likely Peter Whittingham would revert to a central role, with Burke or Emmanuel-Thomas replacing him on the right.

Nevertheless, McPahil remains an important squad member and provides high quality competition in central midfield. Gavin Rae and Darcy Blake are also options following the departure of Danny Drinkwater and Aaron Wildig’s loan move to Hamilton Academicals.

McPhail has appeared in just 13 of our 29 fixtures to date this season, with a number of those coming from the substitutes bench.