Cardiff City release Lee Tomlin. Pic: Getty Images.

Mick McCarthy Hopeful Lee Tomlin Will Soon Be Sprinkling His Magic Dust Now Cardiff City Have Stopped The Rot

By Gareth James

Mick McCarthy is hopeful Lee Tomlin will be back to spread some magic dust for Cardiff City next month having finally stopped the rot.

The Bluebirds boss is targeting the home game with Preston North End on February 20th for the return of his mercurial midfielder.

Tomlin has not played for City since the end of October having been sidelined by a groin problem.

“I had a good conversation with him,” said McCarthy. “He’s looking at February 20th.

Mick McCarthy makes his point as Cardiff City battle back to earn a 2-2 draw at Barnsley. Pic: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

“He’s going to have two weeks training with the under-23s, which is the plan I’ve put in place for with the physio and the doc, to get two games under his belt and then start training with us on the 15th, I think it is.

“The week of the 15th, before playing for the under-23s on the 16th, with a view to playing for us on the 20

“I know that when he was here last time he got ten goals and ten assists. If he can get himself into that shape and that fitness and that quality – he has that bit of magic dust that can win you a game.

“Finding that pass. That angle. He’s always had that. Of course, aligned with that, he’s always had to work hard with his fitness and he’s going to have to do that now.

“It has to be done in an objective way. A reasonable manner that’s a plan. Not just come back and train with us and get injured again.

“He’s been out for three months. So he has to be structured. He’s happy with it and I’m sure we’ll get the best out of him when he comes back.”

McCarthy will manage his first home game against Millwall on Saturday having begun his career with City in the 2-2 draw at Barnsley on Wednesday night.

It looked like City were poised to make it seven successive defeats as they trailed 2-0 just past the hour mark, but McCarthy hailed the battling qualities to at least earn a draw.

Mick McCarthy relishing prospect of his first home game as Cardiff City manager. Pic: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Asked if it was important to stop the rotten run of results, he said: “It was essential.

“There weren’t that many chances in the game and they all came from restarts but to fight the way the lads did. They deserve a bit of credit. They’ve not had a lot recently.

“I guess when you’ve lost six on the bounce people question the desire and fight. That was evident against Barnsley.

“I’ve rarely been in a game as hard fought and ferocious as that. Wasn’t one for the purists I have to be honest.

“It just showed to me that there’s plenty of fight in these lads. If you don’t stand up to that kind of assault on Wednesday, I admire Barnsley for the way they went about it, and they worked their socks off.

“To get a draw is a very good point.”

On the prospect of facing Millwall, he added: “They have been one of the tougher teams.

“All the stats get trotted out that they’ve won one in 10, they’ve drawn eight of them. That shows they’re still a tough nut to crack.

Arsenal loanee Jordi Osei-Tutu has returned to parent club for further treatment. Pic: Pete Norton/Getty Images

“I hope it is a blood and thunder game because they’re more enjoyable and more entertaining.”

Left-back Joe Bennett is set to return against Millwall while skipper Sean Morrison has also regained ful fitness.

But Jordi Osei-Tutu has returned to parent club Arsenal for treatment as his ong-term absence looks set to continue until March at the earliest.

McCarthy added: “The last I heard, it was going to be a considerable time. Maybe five or six weeks someone said to me.

“So no positive update.”

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