Cardiff City: Traore expresses delight at Warnock reunion

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Armand Traore played for Arsenal from 2006-2011

Armand Traore says the chance to be reunited with manager Neil Warnock inspired his decision to join Cardiff.

The Senegal left-back is on loan from Nottingham Forest, leaving after feeling "hurt" by his lack of game-time under manager Aitor Karanka.

Traore, who worked with Warnock at Queens Park Rangers, believes Cardiff can win promotion to the Premier League.

"I think this manager got the best out of me," he said.

"My first year at QPR was my best one in terms of playing. When a manager like Neil Warnock wants to work with you, you can potentially play your best football again. For me it was really exciting.

"I was a bit hurt [at Forest] to be honest because I wanted to play, but then I quickly got over it.

"And when my agent told me he'd spoken to Neil Warnock I was very excited again. I was buzzing after working with him at QPR and I think he tried to sign me at Crystal Palace.

"I always wanted to work with him again and I got my wish. Even if it's only for a few months, I'm really happy here."

Cardiff 'a bunch of beasts'

Traore has made an immediate impact at Cardiff, setting up a goal on his debut in the 4-1 win at Leeds earlier this month before marking his first home appearance for the Bluebirds with the opening goal in Tuesday's 2-0 home win over Bolton.

Warnock has made a habit of signing his former players at Cardiff, with former QPR winger Junior Hoilett and ex-Leeds centre-back Sol Bamba joining on free transfers last season.

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Neil Warnock was manager of Queens Park Rangers when Traore was at the club

The current Bluebirds team has the hallmarks of a Warnock team - an organised and physically imposing defence, an energetic midfield and a speedy, powerful attack.

"The first thing that shocked me at training was the size of the team. It's a bunch of beasts," said Traore.

"When you look at the defenders and even guys up front like Ken Zohore. You've got players who are capable of doing things like [Nathaniel] Mendez-Laing and Junior [Hoilett] so there's a good mix.

"I was looking at the team before Leeds and thinking: 'You don't want to come up against that!'

"I remember playing them at the City Ground earlier this season [for Forest] and I remember thinking we could've played for two days and it would've been really hard to score."

'In the mix to go up'

Cardiff are fourth in the Championship table, level on points with Derby County in third place and one behind Aston Villa in the second automatic promotion spot.

The Bluebirds are also in a strong position for the play-offs as they are nine points clear of seventh-placed Preston. Cardiff host Middlesbrough, who are ninth, on Saturday and Traore believes his new side are capable of winning promotion.

"We're right in the mix to go up," he added.

"Not a lot of teams will want to come up against Cardiff when they see how competitive they are. The lads are really together and there's good banter in there.

"There's a mix of youth and experience. I think we've got all of the ingredients and when you add Neil Warnock, who's been there and done that, you've got all the ingredients to do it."