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Watch out now Craig has come to terms with life at the City; Dave Jones' big verdict on Bluebirds talisman Craig Bellamy.

CRAIG BELLAMY has come to terms with Championship football and is ready to explode upon Swansea City in Sunday's huge derby showdown.

The Cardiff City skipper and talisman has played six times for the Bluebirds... and Dave Jones' men have won the lot.

But City boss Jones admits that despite the 100 per cent record, Bellamy found it difficult to adapt at first after signing on loan from Manchester City in mid-August.

"Craig knows how important he is to the team, but the problem when he arrived was that he thought he was carrying the team," said Jones.

"We were carrying him and he had to understand that the other players will help him as much as he helps them.

"Craig realised it early on, certainly when he was out injured, and gained appreciation of that. Before that he was so determined to do well for Cardiff he lost a bit of focus of what he was here for.

"Today, he knows that we need him as much as he needs us. That goes for every player. We have a lot of good players at Cardiff City.

"What Craig has brought to this club is quality that teams in the Championship don't normally have. Players coming to the end of their careers sometimes play in the Championship, but somebody of Craig's quality is rarely seen. But we are far from a one-man team. Craig has played in six games, while we have 32 points from 14 games. We can win without Craig."

Jones revealed how a June telephone call from Bellamy out of the blue sparked the talks which brought the Wales captain to his home city club during the summer.

Bellamy's Vale of Glamorgan home is a short drive from City's training HQ and he rang Jones to suggest meeting up.

"Craig rang me at home and asked if I could go round to his house. He simply said he would like to play for Cardiff City," Jones told GTFM, "My first thought was that he'd had a bang on the head or even one or two beers too many. But we talked about it.

"The two of us spoke about the stick he would get, the problems we would face. Just about everything that happened in due course we had pre-empted.

"One thing we didn't know was that some people would suggest it was somehow immoral to sign him. But we haven't done anything wrong. Nothing. We simply used the loan system which is in place.

"The question was how would we pay. It could not come out of my budget. It was down to whether club chairman Dato Chan or investor Vincent Tan were prepared to fund that side. It could only happen anyway with a club like Manchester City because of the money they have available and the players they possess.

"Craig was adamant. He would only come to us. Every man and his dog were after him, but our only fear was that Manchester City would say no. Craig wanted to come to us.

"I went to a board meeting and put out plan A for the new season and plan B. Within plan A was signing Craig Bellamy. I don't think anybody around the table believed it could happen. But it did."


Craig Bellamy took time to adapt after joining the Bluebirds, says Dave Jones
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 3, 2010
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