Darcy Blake should consider Cardiff City exit, says Iwan Roberts

Darcy Blake should consider leaving Cardiff City to further his career, says former Wales striker Iwan Roberts.

Blake has started at centre-back in the last four Wales games, keeping Aston Villa's James Collins out of the side.

But the 22-year-old has failed to win a regular place for the Bluebirds, and has played most of his games this season as a defensive midfielder.

"If Darcy isn't going to get his chance at Cardiff it might be time for him to move on," said Roberts.

Blake's run in the Wales team started against Montenegro last month when he benefited from Collins' absence through suspension.

He retained his place to face England at Wembley, producing another assured performance as he shackled Wayne Rooney, and was again selected to face Switzerland and Bulgaria as Wales finished their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign with two successive victories.

Collins missed those final two games with injury, but the former captain was unlikely to take Blake's place if fit.

DARCY BLAKE'S CARDIFF CAREER

  • Blake made his Cardiff debut aged 17
  • He made 24 appearances in the 2010-11 season, playing 90 minutes in the Championship Play-off final

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay said he was impressed by Blake's performance against England, and challenged him to force his way into his thoughts.

According to Roberts, Blake could hardly have done more to catch his manager's eye.

"Over the last two or three performances for Wales he will have done himself no harm whatsoever," he said.

Blake was substituted after 40 minutes against Bulgaria with a calf injury, but he is expected to be fit for selection when Cardiff host Ipswich Town in the Championship on Saturday.

His hopes of securing a regular spot in Cardiff's line-up have been hampered by a shin splint problem which he sustained during pre-season.

To be playing international football, he needs to be playing in that Cardiff team on a regular basis

Iwan Roberts

Mackay has favoured Anthony Gerrard and Mark Hudson as his centre-back pairing, while Blake has filled in as a makeshift midfielder or even left-back when injuries have hit the Bluebirds squad.

"If one of the back four get injured then he's a squad player and he'll come in and do a good job," added former Norwich City striker Roberts.

"I saw him at Hull playing at left-back and he didn't have the best of afternoons - that's not his most natural position.

"But he needs to be playing regularly now. To be playing international football, he needs to be playing in that Cardiff team on a regular basis."