Date: 21st March 2012 at 10:20am
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Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay ‘took a punt` over the summer by offering young French striker Rudy Gestede a route into British football following a successful trial. It was a change in tack for Cardiff City after previous manager Dave Jones seemed extremely reluctant to sign up triallists:

Wilson Oruma (twice voted ‘African footballer-of-the-year!’), Vincent Pericard, Julian Gray and Maros Klimpl are just a few of those who trained with City, and were spoken about by Jones – only to be leave.

Left-back Steven Smith, formerly of Rangers was another prospect – especially since we desperately needed cover in that position while there are obvious comparisons between Gestade and Czech U21 player Daniel Kolar, formerly of Sparta Prague who is of a similar build and style to our the Frenchman.

Perhaps the most intriguing departure was Cypriot winger Costas Charalambides, who enjoyed an impressive and productive pre-season under Dave Jones in 2007. We badly lacked pace and trickery on the wing at that time but opted against a deal for him and he also departed the club.

Young, raw and inexperienced – Gestede is an intriguing player and has enjoyed some very impressive moments for the Bluebirds this season – especially giving Liverpool`s Martin Skrtel such a tough time at Wembley. His positioning can be dubious at times, while he is also guilty of poor decision making but this is all to be expected and he has fast become a very influential player in our side.

Who would have thought that Gestede`s inclusion would be the key factor over Mackay`s choice of formation? With Kenny Miller firmly our top striker, Gestede offered the height, power and un-predictability to create space, chances and offer a valuable alternative in attack. Put simply, we look much better with Rudy in the team.

Persistent hamstring worries have limited his impact, but Gestede has declared himself fit and ready for the all-important run-in and looks set for a place in Mackay`s squad to face Coventry City tonight – most likely at the expense of Robert Earnshaw. He will cause problems if selected, and we desperately need alternatives given our lack of goals recently.