Dydd Llun Te 2014-09-29
The future is still uncertain here at Cardiff City, and our rollercoaster ride of a season shows no sign of stopping, or even slowing. A couple of heavy defeats followed by a return to form, with our latest match ending 2-1 in the Bluebirds favour. A win is great, obviously, but it’s not the result that I am thrilled about.
Our latest performances, a 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough, the 4-2 turnaround at home to the Canaries, and most shockingly for me, the 3-0 pasting we took in the cup at the hands of AFC Bournemouth, did not anger and disappoint me because of the results either…
I don’t think I ask too much of the City players. I don’t expect us to get out there and walk over every team. I don’t expect us to play like Brazil (or, lately, Germany) and score constant overhead kicks. I don’t even expect them to win or draw every match.
What I DO expect, and what has been lacking of late, is for effort. I expect, nay demand, that our players have some self respect, and some respect for the fans, and go out there with a fighting spirit. During the Sheffield Wednesday game on Saturday, I suddenly found myself thinking, ‘You know, I don’t care if Wednesday score again to draw level. Or even if they get two and beat us’. I was just happy that the team had come out onto the pitch and put in a good shift.
While it was a slow start from the Bluebirds, our defence was mostly solid. Manga and Fabio especially put in some solid graft and can take pride in their work (especially with Fabio and that goal line clearance). Daehli, as ever, took his passion, and put it on the pitch, twisting and turning, finding new positions. Morrison scored his first goal for City… and we’ll overlook the fact that he managed to fit both his first goal and his first own goal into the same match.
The whole team, after a shaky 20 minutes after the first whistle, pulled together. They seemed to have direction, we controlled the pace and attacked with vigor. It was really quite refreshing to see our boys in the opposition half, moving forward and finding space. There was some great movement, looking for the pass, the through ball, and a great awareness from City. Even better, we were moving along to pick up the second ball, if possession was lost, we were fighting for it back and that is what made the difference, I believe.
This is all we have been asking for. Yes it’s great to win and get up the table and, ultimately, that’s what we want. But more than anything, we need to see that our players want to be here, that they want to fight for our place and a promotion back to the top flight.
Our next game is going to be under the direction of Young and Gabbidon once more, who will be looking to keep what we had in the last 90 minutes. Out and away at Brighton, currently 17th place and just 3 points behind us and again, it won’t be terribly easy. I’m not expecting us to trample all over them, I just hope that we can keep up the momentum, and keep looking forward, knowing that the City boys will get out there, stand up, be counted and give 100%. With the team we’ve put together this season, if everybody is giving their all in every game, we’ll be back up the table in time for brandy snaps at Christmas… and we can’t ask for much more than that.