Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock will likely be without Leandro Bacuna for their trip to Derby County as the midfielder has returned late from international duty, much to the frustration of the Bluebirds boss.
Bacuna, who has become a key part of Warnock’s midfield, has been on international duty with Curacao since last week.
“It’s scandalous really how countries can get away with things like that,” Warnock explained.
“We were hoping he’d be back yesterday (Wednesday) but it didn’t seem possible”.
The midfielder played twice for Curacao against Haiti in the Concacaf Nations League to win his 28th cap.
“He’s been liaising with the club. We’ve wanted to get him here as quickly as possible, so if it meant us buying the ticket then so be it,” Warnock continued.
“We understand the situation of some of the international countries and it can be difficult financially.
“But we don’t expect them to come back just over 24 hours before a game. That’s a bit over the top really.”
Warnock’s side will travel to the East Midlands looking for their first away win of the season to boost their promotion challenge.
The outspoken Warnock went on to praise Wales manager Ryan Giggs for his treatment of players on international duty.
“You need a manager like Ryan Giggs who says he is not going to play (Derby forward Tom) Lawrence in a friendly on Monday because he has got a big game on the Friday.
“Unfortunately that’s against us. We need a manager like him with all our players. It’s not been easy at all – it’s been horrendous.”
Warnock will also be without Jazz Richards who picked up an ankle injury in training this week and Junior Hoilett who may miss the game for personal reasons.
A Cardiff win would see them jump into the play-offs for the first time this season.
BY DAN ALEXANDER