Peter Whittingham not 'irreplaceable' at Cardiff, says Scott Young

By Rob PhillipsBBC Wales football correspondent
Peter Whittingham
Peter Whittingham joined Cardiff from Aston Villa in 2007

Cardiff City's Peter Whittingham has been told no-one is "irreplaceable" as they ponder recalling him at home against Charlton on Saturday.

Midfielder Whittingham is hoping to make his 300th Cardiff League start.

He missed the midweek 3-1 win at Rotherham after being sent off against Wolverhampton Wanderers last Saturday.

"It's a great headache for the gaffer, myself and the rest of the coaching staff to have," said assistant coach Scott Young.

Joe Ralls
Joe Ralls was on loan at Yeovil from Cardiff in 2013-14

The Bluebirds may have to make a decision between Whittingham and Joe Ralls, who impressed at Rotherham.

Goalkeeper David Marshall is rated 50/50 after coming off with a groin problem in Tuesday's triumph.

Young added: "Competition for places, people coming in and doing a good job for the team and a strong result - that's what you want as a management team.

"I don't think anyone is irreplaceable but Joe Ralls stepped in on Tuesday and did a very good job. It's a big decision."

Whittingham, 31, is Cardiff's longest serving player having joined from Aston Villa in 2007.

David Marshall
David Marshall has undergone groin surgery this season

Up to his dismissal for two yellow cards at Wolves, he had played every minute of every Championship game this season.

His position has been questioned by some fans on social media during this campaign, but Young says the criticism is not justified.

"He is a top, top player. He has been our best midfielder for many a year," said Young.

"The flack has been a bit strong because it has been a tough time for the football club.

"He has faced the brunt of it, but he is s player who would probably walk into most Championship teams.

"He is laid back a bit, but it means a lot to him to play for this football club and play well for this club.

"In training, day to day, he is always thereabouts as one of the best trainers."

Young admitted Ralls would be disappointed if he had to make way for Whittingham, adding: "They might both play, who knows?"

Scottish international Marshall was replaced by Simon Moore at half time at Rotherham, having recently returned following time on the sidelines after a groin operation.

Young said the midweek substitution was not caused by a recurrence of the problem and was instead "more of a strength issue".

The Cardiff management must also decide whether to recall top scorer Kenwyne Jones, who was on the bench at Rotherham,

Despite two consecutive away wins in the Championship, Cardiff's 1-0 triumph over Fulham on January 10, remains their only home victory in 2015.

Young said: "The home form has not been great, we all know that.

"But it's been a big transition period for the club over the last few months.

"It's been tough losing lots of players and bringing players in. But hopefully it's starting to turn.

"There's a good solid group there training day in, day out and if you go back to the Wolves game I thought we were unlucky not to take something from that.

"We just have to keep building on the results we have been getting and hopefully it will turn."