Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bellamy Targeting Cardiff Promotion; Striker Drops Down a Level

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bellamy Targeting Cardiff Promotion; Striker Drops Down a Level

Article excerpt

CRAIG Bellamy insisted he has "come home" with his move to Cardiff - and maintained there were no hard feelings about his departure from Manchester City.

There had been speculation about the striker's future since he revealed ahead of Wales' match against Luxembourg last week he was not going to be included in City's 25-man Premier League squad.

And yesterday it was confirmed former Newcastle United striker Bellamy will drop down to the npower Championship with his home-town club on a seasonlong loan, despite top-flight clubs in England and Scotland lining up to sign him.

Bellamy said: "Nothing's difficult about this. I had the greatest time at Manchester City at a great period in their history. I was bought to take the club on to the next stage and I feel I played a big part in doing that. The players they're signing are incredible.

"The next couple of years I'm sure they'll get the Premier League title, and I hope they do."

Bellamy refused to comment on reports City would not allow him to join a rival Premier League club but praised manager Roberto Mancini.

"There's no ill feeling," added the 31-year-old. "I hope he does well, he's a top manager." Bellamy explained the chance to spend more time with his family was his primary motivation for joining Cardiff, and he does not expect to have it easy in the second tier.

"My wife and kids live here and I've spent the last six years travelling up and down the road," he said. "I left home at 15. I've always wanted to come back but I wanted to come back at the top of my game.

"I've come down to the Championship willing to put my neck on the line. It's probably the hardest football decision I'll have to make in my career. I grew up in this league and it's tough, and that gives me excitement as well. It's a great challenge for me.

"With the players we have I think we've got to be looking at promotion. I've been in the Premier League for 10 years now and probably now I'm at the height of my career. I feel in great condition but the next couple of weeks is going to be difficult - but that would have been the case wherever I'd gone. …

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