Ex-Leeds United captain Bamba off to Cardiff as Warnock rebuilds strugglers

FORMER Leeds United captain Sol Bamba has joined Cardiff City as Neil Warnock looks for an instant reaction at his new club.
Sol BambaSol Bamba
Sol Bamba

The 31-year-old started the first two league games of this season at Elland Road under Garry Monk but then fell out of favour and had his contract cancelled by mutual consent.

Warnock moved quickly after spending his first few days assessing the merits of the squad he inherited from Paul Trollope.

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Bamba has signed for the Bluebirds on a deal that will keep him in the Welsh capital until the summer of 2018. His arrival was followed by that of former Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh, while Junior Hoilett moved to the Principality on Monday.

All three will go straight into the squad for Warnock’s bow as manager, Friday night’s home clash against Bristol City.

It is the first of two fascinating assignments inside a week for the 67-year-old with Sheffield Wednesday also due in Cardiff on October 19.

Friday’s clash with the Robins will be the latest instalment of a long-established rivalry between the two clubs that could be further fuelled by a clash between Warnock and Lee Johnson last season when the former was in charge of Rotherham United.

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Warnock took exception to comments made by Johnson, the former Barnsley manager, ahead of the Millers’ visit to Ashton Gate. He branded Johnson a “disgrace” for what the then United chief considered to be incitement of the home crowd.

On Friday’s clash, the new Bluebirds manager has issued a rallying call to his new club’s fans.

“I know it is tempting, with the game being on telly, to go down the pub or watch it from your settee,” he said.

“But come and be vocal. When they get vocal at Cardiff it is as good as anything I have heard in the game.”

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Next Wednesday’s clash with the Owls will also see the lifelong Sheffield United fan go up against an old foe, who as recently as last March he got the better of when Rotherham claimed a shock 1-0 win at Hillsborough.

Elsewhere, Bradford City’s teenage midfielder Danny Devine has been rewarded for a hugely encouraging start to the season with a new three-year deal.

The 19-year-old only made his debut on the opening day after turning professional in the summer but his form has been such a revelation it is understood to have alerted rival clubs.