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Cardiff's bargain buy Chris Burke hailed by Dave Jones


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http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/c/cardiff_city/8593204.stm

Cardiff City boss Dave Jones joked he was branded a "thief" for taking form winger Chris Burke on a free transfer.

The 26-year-old scored his third goal in four games in Cardiff's 2-1 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday to move them up to fourth in the Championship.

Jones signed the Scottish international from Glasgow Rangers in January 2009 and Jones joked: "A lot of people from Glasgow have written to me.

"They are calling me a thief because they think I stole him off them!"

Burke is one of a host of bargain basement signings in Jones' Cardiff squad that have inspired the Welsh club to the brink of the play-offs and a shot at Premier League promotion.

He suffered an injury-plagued career at Rangers and also endured a long time out with illness - missing the whole 2004/05 season with a virus after fainting on the pitch at Aberdeen on the opening day.

Burke recovered to star for Rangers in their Champions League showdowns with Inter Milan, Porto and Villarreal but suffered further injury problems before joining Cardiff last January for a "new challenge."

Burke is a livewire and an integral part of what we do. His work-rate is phenomenal

Cardiff City manager Dave Jones

The two-times capped Scotsman has excelled in his first full season in English football and his work-rate, direct running, seven assists and ten goals have been a major factor of Cardiff's push to fourth in the Championship table.

"Burke is a livewire and an integral part of what we do," said Jones.

"He has been popping up with goals all season, not just of late.

"He has been consistent all season, one of our most consistent players and when you get a lot of consistency in the team, you do well.

"Burke's work-rate is phenomenal. He works hard at covering and covers a great distance during the game. That's not just going forward but also getting back and hopefully that will continue.

"Burke was signed for nothing and a lot of people questioned why we brought him in.

"He had a bit of a torrid time at Rangers because of illness and injuries but when you strip away that, he had some fantastic games for them.

"I was fortunate enough to get him on a free and he is now delivering what we expected.

"He got a bit stale and found it hard and maybe that is why he picked up injuries and he was ill for a long time. He found it hard and he never really got over that to get back to where he was.

Cardiff City winger Chris Burke has scored 10 goals this season

"Sometimes a change is good and that has been the case for Chris. Their loss is our gain. And sometimes you only appreciate someone if you haven't got them any more."

Burke has been an ever-present this season - starting 35 and coming on in four of Cardiff's 39 league games this season - and is expected to start in their crucial clash with play-off rivals Leicester City at the Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday.

Cardiff, gunning for their fourth win in five games against Leicester, suffered final-day heartache last season as the Bluebirds missed out on a play-off place due to a one-goal difference.

Now Jones hopes his side can transform the hurt from last season's disappointment into determination to "go one better" this campaign.

"Everyone was expecting us not to do anything this season because of what went on last season," said Jones.

"But we have still got to achieve what we didn't do last year.

"And if we go one step further it means we will continue the gradual improvement at this football club over the last three or four years.

"The expectation level here far outweighs what we should be doing bearing in mind the size of the squad and the money we have to spend.

"We spent good money on Michael Chopra but the rest of the squad has not had a lot spent on it."

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The can hail him a bargain all they want, but the fact that nobody has actually noticed that he isn't with us anymore speaks volumes about where his career with us was going.

There's no doubting he's a talented boy, but he was just too injury prone.

Aye and I don't think his heart was in it here, possibly because he was a tim.

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Cue the:

'He has found his level'

'Not good enough for us anyway'

'I hope there's a sell on clause'

:BELM:

He wasn't good enough for us anyway.

I hope there is a sell on clause!

Aye, I do agree. Just seems a lot of folk on here can be bitter about ex players.

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Maybe it was time for him to go but to give a player away? Him and Adams are now worth around £5mil between them, so in the space of 7 or 8 months they went from being worth 500k (what we got for Charlie Adam- Burkes on a free) to be worth that? Great management

Burke had six months left on his deal when we let him go.

And as far as Adam goes, you can only recieve what somebody is willing to pay and obviously teams weren't prepared to pay a higher fee for him at that point in time.

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Basically, he was always a very good player when used properly - for a while he was the only real footballer we had. Now like Charlie Adam he is being used in his best position, in a formation that suits him and and in a team that tries to play football - Like Charlie, he will be in the Premiership before too long

And then when UEFA tighten up the law on playing foreigners in Europe, we will moan as to why we cant get enough good Scottish players to play for us lol

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Cue the:

'He has found his level'

'Not good enough for us anyway'

'I hope there's a sell on clause'

:BELM:

He wasn't good enough for us anyway.

I hope there is a sell on clause!

Aye, I do agree. Just seems a lot of folk on here can be bitter about ex players.

Was he not good enough when he was running rings around some of the best teams in Europe?

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Always liked Burkey - got a jersey with his name on it now unfortunately collecting dust in the closet. His time with us was frustrating, but when he was on song he was a great player to have in the squad. Glad he finally seems to have lived up to his potential.

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Frustrating because he was never fit, he made Beasley look like an ever present!

Was the right time to let him go I think.

It was certainly the right time for him, he just was not getting a fair chance, either from the fans or the management

However, it wasnt the right time for Rangers - seeing us the past few weeks, our team is crying out for an authentic winger, we do not have one such player in our first team, Beasley is the closest, but he is a wide midfielder at best, he is no winger

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