Jazz Richards: Wales defender returns for Cardiff City

Wales defender Jazz Richards is set to play for Cardiff City for the first time in over three months in Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Mansfield Town.

Richards has recovered from an ankle injury and boss Neil Warnock says he is “ready” to play for the first time since 23 September in the third round.

However, the Bluebirds will be without defenders Lee Peltier and Matthew Connolly who are both out for a month.

Warnock also revealed he wants to sign a “top class” midfielder this month.

Warnock says he is looking to use the transfer window to bring more quality into the Cardiff side and hoped to have made at least one signing by next week.

Despite having a limited number of defenders at his disposal, Warnock said the priority was to sign a midfielder and a striker.

“I want a top-class midfield target who I think will fit into the way we play and make us better,” said Warnock.

“We can’t just keep relying on Joe [Ralls], and obviously we need a striker having lost Danny Ward.

“I’m desperate and the owners are desperate to try and help me because we need bodies especially with our long-term injuries and we are desperate for a bit more quality in that squad.

“The ones I’m looking at, the fans would really enjoy seeing them.

“I want to get two signings in before next weekend. If I can get three it’ll be like winning the pools.”

The return of Wales defender Richards will be a welcome one with Peltier and Connolly sidelined.

“He has worked hard over the last few weeks,” said Warnock.

“I would like him to get a game under his belt.”

Peltier and Connolly are the latest additions to the Cardiff casualty list. Peltier’s hip problem and Connolly’s damaged calf muscle will see both sidelined for four weeks.

The duo join Sean Morrison, Aron Gunnarsson, Danny Ward, Lee Camp, Kadeem Harris and Frederic Gounongbe on the sidelines, while Cardiff have also suffered a sickness bug this week.

“We are that thin on the ground and we need to get 18 players on the team sheet, I honestly don’t know how,” sad Warnock.

“If the game was played yesterday we’d have only had five substitutes which just shows the situation we are in at the moment, it’s pretty dire.

“We seem to be going to one crisis to another at the moment.

“I’d love to win [the cup tie] but it’s not the end of the world if we don’t. Let’s enjoy it and put on a performance.”