Cardiff City hero Nathan Blake insists striker Kenwyne Jones should be picked from the start, every week, whether he's willing to chase around for 90 minutes or not.
It was great to see Kenwyne Jones back in Cardiff City’s Championship starting line-up for the first time in almost a month – and he celebrated with a 13th goal of the season.
He’s scored seven in his last 10 appearances and that’s an outstanding record for a team in the lower half of the table.
I’ve heard all the talk about how Kenwyne needs to be more of a 90-minute player, to be charging around the pitch all the time challenging here, there and everywhere.
But that’s not what Cardiff City need him to be doing.
Kenwyne’s game is all about winning physical challenges, scoring goals and being a nightmare for opposing defenders in the air. His approach is not like, say, Duncan Ferguson, who did tend to put himself about.
Kenwyne can help the Bluebirds by doing what he does best – and that is to be a focal point in attack.
Asking a big guy of 6ft 4ins tall to run around all over the place is a typical British attitude. Why? That’s putting square pegs in round holes and doesn’t work. Kenwyne works hard, he puts in a shift, but football is not just about graft. There is far more to it and Kenwyne has the experience and knowhow to make teams he comes up against uncomfortable.
Other players in the team will be there to add the running and put themselves about in various areas of the pitch.
In my view, Kenwyne gets unfair press. Because his style can be a bit languid some people think he doesn’t care enough.
He cares a lot and is extremely effective for the team.
In my opinion Kenwyne has been Cardiff’s best player this season. No question. Thirteen goals in a struggling team says it all.
Cardiff don’t have another players in the group who could play a similar role to him and score the goals he does.
The Bluebirds are fortunate to have him in their team - and he’ll play a big part in ensuring City finish in a respectable Championship position.
Let’s hope City stick with Kenwyne and Eoin Doyle in attack against Brighton. They at least provide goals potential and could prove to be a useful combination.
The key, of course, is that a 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday only becomes a good result if Cardiff win at home to Brighton.
They have a starting point, nothing more. After four successive defeats it was important to come up with something more positive and that’s what Russell Slade and his players have done.
Cardiff’s performance was half decent at Hillsborough and now we need to see a little more at home. The playing surface at Wednesday was poor, but it always is at this time of year. The pitch cuts up badly, but it was the same for both teams and Cardiff will have a far better pitch to play on at home.
Back-to-back home fixtures against Brighton and Blackburn is a real chance for Slade and his team. They can build on what was achieved in Sheffield and move forward with a little more confidence.
Their record now is one win in 10 league games – six points earned from the last 30 on offer. That’s simply not good enough no matter how you look at it and must be improved.
Slade’s team is starting to take shape. The transfer window has closed and this is, in so many ways, his team now.
It’s been a difficult spell. He had to cut the wage bill in a dramatic way. Plenty of players have gone and quite a few have come in.
These are Slade’s players now and we must see over the next few matches what can be achieved.
City’s first job is to beat Brighton, who are a team who like to get the ball down and pass.
That may prove a problem for Cardiff, who are low on confidence. There have been loads of disruptions, lots of change and a period of stability is needed.
Slade has said he still isn’t certain what his best starting XI is, but he needs to find out fast. Cardiff need a settled team if they are to put a run of results together and show they are a group of players with a bright future.
Simply beating Brighton is now the whole answer, of course, but it would be a solid step along the way.
If they can earn wins against both Brighton and Blackburn it would make a statement. City need to beat teams they are maybe not expected to beat and Blackburn, who are challenging for the play-offs, could come into that category.
At times it seems that Cardiff don’t have the mental strength to take control. If they are underdogs they seem to give it a go and see what happens.
But I want to see City players going out expecting to win, particularly at home. They must put themselves and each other under mental pressure and see it through.
If they can have a winning mindset the signs are that there is enough quality in their squad to have a decent set of results over the rest of this season.
They can at least ease any nerves about league position and enjoy the rest of this season. After all the turmoil so far during 2014-15 it would be fantastic if City could calm things down, work on playing in an entertaining way and move forward with a touch more confidence.
Their first job is to win against Brighton at Cardiff City Stadium tomorrow.