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How did Cardiff City’s international players perform?

EIGHT Bluebirds have been in action for their country during the March internationals including two from the developmental squad.

Neil Etheridge

Etheridge featured in both games for the Philippines as they qualified for the Asia Cup for the first time in their history.

The Philippines won both their games in the international break starting with a 3-2 win over Fiji last Thursday.

But it was the game against Tajikistan on Monday that everyone was looking to. A convincing 2-1 win meant that Etheridge will miss five games of the 2018/19 season.

Callum Paterson 

Paterson was named in the starting line-up against Costa Rica on Friday for Alex McLeish’s first game in charge since returning as the Scotland coach.

This was Paterson’s first appearance since their 3-0 defeat to England two years ago.

It ended in disappointment for McLeish’s inexperienced Scotland side as they fell to a 1-0 defeat.

Scotland had a chance to redeem themselves against Hungary in midweek. Paterson came on in the 82nd minute to help Scotland hold on to a narrow 1-0 lead as Matt Phillips gave Scotland the lead shortly after half-time.

Aron Gunnarsson

Aron Gunnarsson

Aron Gunnarsson’s return from injury will be key to Cardiff’s run-in

Gunnarsson was a surprise name in Iceland’s squad as he returns from injury. He was last seen in a Bluebirds shirt back in November during their 1-0 win over Barnsley.

This is a confidence boost for Cardiff manager Neil Warnock, who heads into the final nine games six points off league leaders Wolves.

Gunnarsson played the first 45 minutes for Iceland on Saturday as they fell to a 3-0 defeat to Mexico.

He was an unused sub in Iceland’s second game on Monday as they suffered a 3-1 defeat to Peru.

Marko Grujić

Grujić featured twice for Serbia in the international break as he hopes to be named in their 23-man squad for the World Cup.

He replaced Nemanja Matic after 67 minutes in their 2-1 defeat to Morocco last week and Aleksandar Mitrović on Tuesday in their 2-0 win against Nigeria.

When he signed his loan deal Grujić said: “Playing in the World Cup is one of the reasons I came to Cardiff.

“The World Cup is one of the biggest events for every player but it will be tough to earn a spot.”

Armand Traoré

Traoré made his first appearance in five years for Senegal in their 1-1 draw against Uzbekistan on Friday.

His performance earned him a place in the starting line-up against Bosnia on Tuesday. The game finished 0-0 with few chances from both sides.

Jamie Ward

Ward is another boost to Warnock’s side as he made his return from injury for Northern Ireland in their 2-1 win against South Korea on Saturday.

This was the only fixture of the international break for Ward but his return to fitness will prove vital in the Championship run-in.

Wales Under 21s

Three developmental squad players were called up to the Wales under 21 side for their match against Bosnia on Saturday.

Cameron Cox and Mark Harris both started in Wales’ 1-0 defeat, while left back Rhys Abbruzzese was an unused substitute.

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