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Warnock heaps praise on youngster Healey

Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock heaped praise on young gun Rhys Healey after his late heroics against Burton Albion earlier this month.

Healey, 22, scored an injury time winner as the Bluebirds secured three straight Championship wins for the first time since 2015 with a 1-0 victory at the Cardiff City Stadium on January 21.

The striker has spent time on loan with Newport County this season, but after working his way into Warnock’s plans he grasped his opportunity with both hands.

And the experienced manager was delighted for Healey following a moment he knows will live with him forever.

“He’s a confident lad and the goal will have given him a massive lift. That’s come through the academy, and nothing fazes him.

“I told him with ten minutes to go just to enjoy it really, and that’s what he did. The players gave him a round of applause in the dressing room which was nice. He’s got the shirt and ball signed and he’ll remember it forever, won’t he?

“I think he’s done well in training, has Rhys. He’s made himself a nuisance. When we put Rickie (Lambert) on, we obviously haven’t got the legs in behind like Ken (Zohore) gives us.

“We told him to make runs in behind Rickie, and also help out by just dropping on their anchor midfield lad when we were under the cosh.

“He did both jobs. He was a threat and a nuisance and to get his first goal was fabulous for him.

“He’s really worked hard this season. He’s played a lot of games at Newport and I was tempted not to use him because by using him he can’t go out on loan now.

“I didn’t want to spoil it, but I was a bit selfish and I have no regrets about it. It gave us probably the best result since I’ve been at the club.

“I’ve got to say, there’s not many youngsters who are knocking on my door when I’m looking at the team.

“But Rhys, I’ve watched him a few times myself and there are things about him. Believe it or not his finishing probably let him down a bit at Newport, but his honesty will make him a good living.

“We don’t know yet what level that’ll be at, but I had no qualms at all about putting him on. It’s not about feeling pressure to play them, it’s about whether they are good enough and he was good enough to be on the bench and come on against Burton.

“The choice was Rhys or Whits (Peter Whittingham) at the end, and we went with Rhys for that little but more getting in the channels and putting their centre halves under pressure.

“He was a nuisance, and at the end he got his reward. We haven’t got anyone like him other than Ken (Zohore), he’s as close as we’ve got.

“He’s what I call a little rash. As a defender you’d hate him because he never gives you a minute, and it’s not a bad thing to have that.”

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