DOUGIE Freedman expects FA Cup opponents Cardiff City to hold on to loan targets Kevin McNaughton and Joe Mason until after their Reebok date.

Wanderers are heading the queue to take both players back on loan this month but have now been told they must wait until after the fourth round game to see whether their offer has been successful.

Further complicating matters is Brighton’s apparent interest in signing Mason on a permanent deal.

A £600,000 price tag has been put on the 22-year-old, which would most likely rule Freedman out of the running.

McNaughton does appear to be up for grabs, however, and the Wanderers boss believes success against the Welshmen a week on Saturday could aid their chances of signing them.

“The draw did us no favours at all,” he said. “The feedback I am getting from Cardiff is that they are in the cup and are going to hold their players.

“Joe and Kevin are two fantastic players who did very well for us, but the news from Cardiff is ‘call us back at the end of the month.’ Hopefully, we beat them in the cup and that may be a better way of doing it, in a strange kind of way.”