Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Rival Lines: Russell Slade has not won over Cardiff fans yet

Match Preview
Cardiff City v AFCB
Blogger Interview: Cardiff City Mad 

I know how much you all like Rival Lines so you have been lucky and ended up with a second Cardiff interview this week as I managed to get a few words with Cardiff City Mad  writer Michael Morris. I delve a little deeper into why things might not have worked out quite as well as many Cardiff fans might have thought at the start of the season and I try to get a feel of what supporters think of the future under Russell Slade.

CC: Why have Cardiff found it hard to get a consistent series of wins this season?

CCM: The season started off with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager and he just didn't have a plan. He seemed to make it up as he went along and results reflected that.

The appointment of Russell Slade, inexperienced at this level, did little to improve things significantly.

I feel we have the players to do well in this division, several of them played Premier League last season, but we have not had a forward thinking, progressive, ambitious manager to drive them on.

We have a steady Eddie at the moment and while he's dealing with a messed up situation off the field it means we are getting inconsistency on it.

CC: Do you think Vincent Tan has been misunderstood at times and that he has perhaps been more determined to listen to others this season?

CCM: He has not been misunderstood. He seriously misjudged what owning a Championship / Premier League football club was all about.

His changing colour ideas and whacky actions might work in other businesses and in other sports but not top level football in the UK.

CC: Do things feel any better now that you are back in blue shirts?

CCM: Yes it feels much better but it's going to taking a long time to get the spirit back. We attracted a lot of fans on the Premier League journey who were there for the glory. Colour to them didn't matter.

The core supporters who were hurt most by the colour change will take a while to come back and there are some who never will.

CC: What match was Cardiff's best performance this season?

CCM: We've not been convincing and dominating in any game in particular. We've had moments in several games but the quality of football has not been great.

We've managed to pull of a couple of shocks thanks to some backs to the wall defending to hold onto slender leads at Watford and Brentford.

CC: Is Russell Slade a good enough manager to get Cardiff heading towards the Premier League next season and has he changed some things for the better?

CCM: Honest opinion is that he isn't. The quality of football is not so god but he has had a lot to contend with. So I'll cut him some slack. But I do t think he's going to take us too far forward. I hope he proves me wrong.

CC: What has the atmosphere been like at the stadium as I see you have only won one home match in the Championship this calendar year?

CCM: Atmosphere has been poor. The quality of football and dreadful home results have seen thousands walk away. A 33,000 capacity stadium with less than half the seats filled is going to be a bit depressing.

CC: You have a lot of strikers at the club but only Kenweyne Jones seems to find the back of the net regularly so are you a much poorer team without him?

CCM: None of the strikers have been prolific. Jones had played more regularly so I suppose it's no surprise he has scored more. He goes a brilliant job of defending when we are protecting a lead.

Macheda and Revell were given a chance at Brentford and both scored. Maybe they just need a run of games.

CC: Are there any away fan pubs that you would recommend for AFCB supporters?

CCM: The stadium is a five minute taxi ride from the city centre. There are dozens of great places in town. Nearer the ground I'd say The Lansdowne, Plum Tree or The Romilly would welcome friendly away fans. The Ivor Davies is the nearest Wetherspoons to the ground and that gets busy with Cardiff fans.

CC: Are we in for another eight goal thriller - what is your score prediction for the game?

CCM: Maybe not eight goals but possibly three or four. I think you will probably win 2-1.

CC: What did you think of Brentford having just played them?

CCM: They dominated us for much of the game and it was a bit of a travesty they didn't score an equaliser. But Cardiff earned their goals and Brentford lacked the killer touch in front of goal. I think the play offs is the best Brentford can hope for.

CC: How do you think the top six will look at the end of the season in the Championship?

CCM: I think Norwich could come through to win the league with AFCB second. Derby, Middlesbrough and Watford in the play offs along with Wolves who will make a late charge to take out Ipswich and Brentford.

Thanks for those great answers Michael. I have been checking out Cardiff City Mad where there is a great report on the Brentford match which gives a few clues as to how Cardiff might play against AFCB, but with a couple of red cards it looks like Russell Slade will have to change a few things. I think Cardiff might be in trouble if they try and take the Cherries on with nine men! There is also a review of last weekend's Championship matches and information on the Cardiff squad and lots of stats to get you working out what the score will be. You can also visit their Facebook page and follow comments on Twitter @cardiffcitymad

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