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Dublin: Bellamy can help Cardiff hit the big time

The Welsh striker completed his permanent switch to the Bluebirds on Friday afternoon, and the former Aston Villa striker has backed him to make a big impact at the club

Former Premier League striker Dion Dublin has backed Cardiff City to bounce back from last season’s League Cup and play-off disappointments after sealing the signing of Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy.

The Wales international, who has been on Olympic Games duty with Team GB this summer, spent the 2010-11 season on loan with the Bluebirds and following Brendan Rodgers' admission this week that the 33-year-old was likely to depart Anfield, he has now returned to the Championship side.

And Dublin believes that along with manager Malky Mackay, Bellamy's presence will be a significant boost to the club this season.

"Cardiff have suffered their fair share of cup disappointments in recent years and will want to put that right," the former Aston Villa man said.

"They'll have a much better chance if they do end up signing Craig Bellamy.

"He showed at the Olympics that he's still a quality player and, given he’s a Cardiff lad, it would be a good move for all parties and a great boost for Malky.

"I like Cardiff. They're a well-run club with a manager I respect. I had a few battles with Malky Mackay in my playing days, and still have a few scars on my forehead he gave me!

"He was always committed and physical as a player, but as a manager he knows his stuff. He knows what he wants to achieve and he’s at the right club to achieve it."

Emile Heskey could also be set for a switch to the second-tier, with Blackpool believed to be keen on a move for the striker who was released by Aston Villa at the end of last season – a move which Dublin believes could be "amazing" for Ian Holloway's side.

"Rumour has it the Tangerines are looking at Emile Heskey, who was let go by Aston Villa," Dublin added. "I don't know whether it's genuine, but he would be an amazing signing.

"He's still Premier League class. He gets a lot of stick because he makes sacrifices for the team, and works his socks off defensively too.

"Admittedly he doesn't get enough goals, and I'm sure he knows that. But defenders should still fear him – he's a big old unit who can score and is a great team player.

"But even if it doesn't happen, I hope Blackpool do well. I'm a big fan of Ian Holloway. He's priceless, a funny man you always want to hear interviewed.

"He would have been disappointed not to have got them back into the Premier League last season and, make no mistake, he will be missed in the top flight."

The League Cup first round gets underway next week, and Dublin believes the pick of the ties is Swindon Town's clash with Brighton on Tuesday evening.

"The tie of the round for me is at the County Ground, where Paolo Di Canio's Swindon face Gus Poyet's Brighton on Tuesday.

"Paolo is a great bloke, he's a good mate of mine and what you see is what you get – passion.

"When you see him running down the touchline it's great, you need characters like that and he can't hide his feelings.

"I'm surprised he's done so well as a manager, because I didn't see that in him as a player, but he's proved me wrong and I think Swindon will do well again this season.”

Dion Dublin was talking on behalf of Capital One, the credit card company and new sponsors of The League Cup. Round 1 of the Capital One Cup takes place from 11th to 14th August

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