It has taken a lot of hard graft and determination but on Monday evening at the Cardiff City Stadium former Castle School Thornbury pupil Joe Morrell made his debut for the senior Wales national side. The 22 year old Bristol City player, currently on loan at League One Lincoln City, was neat and tidy in central midfield alongside skipper-for-the-night Joe Allen and even played a key role in starting the attack which led to the only goal of the game, a wonderful curling effort from Manchester United’s Daniel James.

Morrell won the ball deep and passed the ball forward to Johnny Williams whose marauding run led to a pass to James who finished in fine fashion.

Morrell wasn’t the only City player in action over the international break with Pedro Pereira (Portugal Under-21s), Callum O’Dowda (Republic of Ireland), Han-Noah Massengo (France Under-19s) and Ádám Nagy (Hungary) all featuring for their respective national sides. It’s a sign of the times that as a Championship club City have so many players on international duty.

Head coach Lee Johnson will be keeping everything crossed that none of his charges return with injuries with another busy run of games coming up.

This Saturday City travel to the Potteries to face Stoke City (3pm). The Potters have lost their last three league games and are bottom of the Championship table. Another defeat to City on Saturday may finally spell the end for Stoke manager Nathan Jones. The Welshman has won just four of his 29 games in charge at the bet365 Stadium.

A week later City welcome current table-toppers Swansea City to Ashton Gate (3pm) before a visit to Deepdale to visit Preston North End the Saturday after. The Swansea game should near a sell-out crowd at Ashton Gate and we’ll be hoping for a similar result to last season when City won 2-0 thanks to second half goals from Weimann and O’Dowda.