You moved to Cardiff in the summer of 2017, having been relegated from the Championship with Rotherham and you were joining up again with Neil Warnock, who briefly managed you there. Was he a big incentive to join Cardiff?
He didn’t need to sell it to be honest. Cardiff is such a big club and I already knew quite a lot of the lads in the dressing room. I also enjoyed my time under the gaffer at Rotherham, so it was a no brainer for me really. He was only there briefly, but he kept us up. When you look at his record, he’s been so successful in the game, so it was the overall package really.
You were just what Cardiff needed at the time; a quick, hard-working, mobile striker. You started well, before picking up an injury and that was unfortunately the start of a bit of a pattern during your time at the club. How frustrating was it to have your momentum broken so many times?
Most of the time it was niggly injuries, but the first one was a knee injury that kept me out for the back end of the season when we got promoted, so I was frustrated to not be playing. I couldn’t really get going and I had a similar season at Huddersfield last season.
As you say, Cardiff were promoted in your first season and you probably played less than you had hoped. Were you still able to enjoy the achievement? Presumably getting to the Premier League was a dream come true, not just for yourself, but the whole squad, as there was very little top-flight experience in that group.
It was such a good group of lads. To a man they were brilliant. There were no bad eggs and everyone got on together, so that achievement was one of the highlights of my career.
You started the top flight season in and around the team and I remember a game early on, at home to Arsenal. You started up front will Bobby Decordova-Reid and you were both brilliant that day. Cardiff were really unlucky and I’ve never seen a Cardiff side press with such intensity. It felt like an exciting template for the season, but it didn’t last long. What are your memories of that day? Was that like the peak of your career to that point?
To get my first start in the Premier League, and to score as well, was massive for me. It probably was one of my biggest achievements in the game. It was a frustrating season really because at times we showed that we could compete against the best, but at the end of the day, we weren’t quite good enough. Its hard to press teams like that when they have so much possession of the ball because you end up burning out by about 60 minutes. That game showed that we could score goals against teams like that and it gave us confidence, but it also showed that if you give them half a yard, its in the back of your net.
Halfway through the season, there was the terrible Emiliano Sala tragedy, which still doesn’t feel quite real. How tough was that for the squad? I know most of you guys had probably never met him, but I imagine it was still a very affecting, human tragedy. Did things feel different after that?
Like you say, it didn’t feel real. I think we were away in Newcastle at the time he came over to sign, so we had not met him. He was still one of our team mates though and it was a horrible time for the club, the fans and his family. It’s something I never want to experience again. I think it did take a bit of time for everyone to come around from that, but it was a very good group that had the ability to bounce back.
Back in the Championship, after relegation, you played more in that season, your last with the club, than the previous two combined. It was a season where you worked under both Warnock and Neil Harris. Were you sad to see Warnock leave and how did you find working with Harris?
I didn’t think Neil Warnock would go to be honest, but Neil Harris came in and I thought he was brilliant. As a manager, but especially as a man. Alex Smithies and I lost our friend Jordan Sinnott during that time and the way he dealt with it was fantastic and really helped us. What happens off the pitch is sometimes more important and I thought he was one of the best managers I’ve ever worked under.
It was a real blow to lose you at the end of the season. Was there ever any chance of you staying or any sort of new contract offer, or were you keen to return up north?
It was a weird time with Covid, so no one really knew what would happen and it was all up in the air. There were talks, but it was a hard time for clubs. The opportunity to return to Huddersfield came up and we were living between Cardiff and Huddersfield at the time, so that was what swayed me to come back.
How have you found it back in Huddersfield? It was great to see you back at the Cardiff City Stadium recently and you nearly scored, dinking one against the post! You had a great reception, with the fans singing your name.
During my time at Cardiff, the fans were great with me, so it was good to go back and get such a good reception. I was dying to score and the game didn’t go our way, but I’m really enjoying this season. I’m playing every week and feeling really fit.
I see you’ve also grown your hair out. You’ve got a south American vibe going at the moment!
I thought I would try something different and I’ve never really had long hair before, so I thought I would give it a go and I’m enjoying it!
How do you reflect on your time at Cardiff?
I loved it. Whenever we have the chance to go back down there, we try and spend a bit of time there. I really enjoyed myself. I’ve got a lot of special memories and made some lifelong friends. We had a lot of good times and we do still miss it.