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🔎 Inside Scoop: Cardiff City

We speak to our latest local journalist covering Friday night's visitors, The Bluebirds

15 April 2021

Next up for the Royals, a visit from the side just a spot below them in the table - Cardiff City are the visitors to RG2 on Friday evening (6pm KO), and ahead of our meeting with the Bluebirds, we spoke to another regional journalist who has been covering their team home and away, in order to get the inside scoop on our 8th-placed opponents.

Wales Online's Cardiff City correspondent Glen Williams gives an insiders look at latest opponents, and the latest from the Welsh capital, as we look to kick-start our final five games with the right result against Mick McCarthy's men in front of the Sky Sports cameras this weekend.

Glen, thanks so much for chatting with us, how would you sum up Cardiff’s season so far?

On the whole, disappointing. After last year's surge to the play-offs, fans were expecting a far better start than they got, that's for sure. By the time the club parted ways with Neil Harris, City were languishing in 15th, which, given the squad they have, is nowhere near good enough.


Mick McCarthy's brief resurgence salvaged it somewhat, though, and steered them away from what looked increasingly like a relegation battle at one stage.

And how has this compared to your expectations at the start of the season?

As I just touched on, the expectation was certainly those top-six spots. After some shrewd additions in the summer window, many believed this was a squad which could be up there challenging.

But a poor run of form, coupled with some unfortunate injury problems, curtailed any real momentum. It's been a frustrating one, that's for sure.

Since Mick McCarthy came in, Cardiff have been largely on the up, how do you reflect on his time at the club so far?

He started like a steam train. He shored up Cardiff's defence and made them an attacking threat with real purpose going forward. That bubble has just burst slightly of late. The defence has just been caught out once or twice for being sloppy and that razor-sharp attacking edge has just been blunted.

But he has done what he was asked to do, consolidate that club's position as a Championship team for next season and build from there.

Amongst their ranks, Cardiff have two former Royals, Leandro Bacuna and Sean Morrison, how have they got on this year?

I feel for Leandro, because he was asked to fill in at right wing-back for much of the season following an injury to Jordi Osei-Tutu. It's not his natural position and he couldn't utilise his best qualities.

He has since played in a more advanced role under McCarthy and has had varied success. He is playing in the No.10 role, although some believe his best position is slightly deeper than that.


Sean Morrison has been tremendous this term. It's been telling just how much they have missed him the last three matches, in which they have gained just one point, as he sat out with a calf strain. There is hope he can return for Friday's fixture, though, which will represent a huge boost if that is the case.

Last time out the Bluebirds drew 2-2 at home to Blackburn Rovers, how did they look in that one?

It was one of their better displays, certainly in the first half, when you compare it to their performances over the last month or so. They looked an attacking threat again and should have been out of sight by half time.

A couple of sloppy errors let Blackburn back in the game, though, and Adam Armstrong is a top striker in this division. You give him anything and he will make you pay. And he did. He scored with basically the last kick of each half to earn Blackburn a point. About as good an analogy for City's season as I can think of, to be honest.

Watching from afar, what have you made of Reading this season?

I was mightily impressed with their start to the season. They have some really good players in their ranks. I've always liked the look of Ovie Ejaria ever since I covered a Liverpool youth match in my former job, and he is once again doing the business.


Lucas Joao has been tremendous, while Michael Olise and Yakou Meite are having great seasons themselves. Josh Laurent I like the look of, too, I always thought he would have added a lot to Cardiff's squad after they were linked with him last summer. I'm glad to see he has become a central player for the Royals.

Equally, what were your reflections on our last meeting? A 2-1 win for Reading back in September.

It seems like a lifetime ago! I remember a really sloppy defensive display from the Bluebirds. It was a microcosm of their sluggish start. They were far too accommodating that day and they cannot replicate that this evening.

Which Cardiff players should Royals fans be keeping an eye out for as your biggest assets on Friday evening?

Kieffer Moore has been the main threat all season. He has just come off the boil a little of late, but he is a massive danger and is central to all Cardiff do, really.


Harry Wilson too has shown on more than one occasion the quality he possesses. While Aden Flint and, if he plays, Sean Morrison have both been weapons from dead-ball situations.

Lastly, what are your hopes for the outcome of Cardiff’s final five games, are the play-offs still a possibility?

Realistically, the play-offs are off the table, but it is still mathematically possible, of course, but their last three results might just have left them with too much to do.

In light of that, it would be great to see some of the young lads get a shot, just to see what we are working with next season and beyond. A couple of wins would be handy, too!

Glen Williams is Cardiff City correspondent for Wales Online. 

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