Welsh International Declan John is determined to help ensure that Cardiff City remains a Barclays Premier League entity for the 2014/15 season. After all, it’s always been his Football Club.
Born in Merthyr Tydfil, Declan broke into the Bluebirds first-team for our top-flight fixture at West Ham United on opening day. He’s made 17 appearances since then – and made his senior Wales debut against Macedonia in October’s 1-0 win.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Everton, Declan said: “I’ve been at Cardiff City since I was seven or eight years of age and I’ve always wanted us to reach the Premier League.
“Last year’s promotion was one of the happiest moments of my life in all honesty because it meant so much to see this Football Club back in the top-flight. We’d tried and failed for so many years, but we finally achieved our goal. We should be in this division and it’s where we want to stay.”
Saturday’s morale-lifting 3-1 victory over bottom club Fulham ensured that the Bluebirds remained in the relegation zone by virtue of a slightly inferior goal-difference to 17th placed West Bromwich Albion.
And it was a win that Declan feels the squad may be able to reflect on come the end of the season as a turning point.
“We’d obviously been a few games without a win prior to the weekend, so to beat Fulham in front of our home supporters was brilliant,” said the defender.
“I think a few people have said that it was probably our biggest game of the season in as much as we were the two sides at the bottom of the division, so to get a win just extends the gap a little bit. Hopefully a few more wins between now and the end of the campaign will keep us out of the relegation zone.
“The win on the weekend has picked us all up and we’ve a great belief. We’re looking to go to Everton now on Saturday and get another good result. It’s about getting a little bit of momentum at this stage of the season.”
Tactical and personnel changes have aided City’s cause in recent games, with Fulham’s win preceded by a slender defeat to Champions League chasing Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
And it’s this awareness of opposition and pragmatism that the 18 year-old starlet feels can play a huge part in the fight against relegation between now and May 11th, saying: “We changed shape to go to Spurs the previous week which worked very well – we were unfortunate not to take something.
“I played more as a wing-back in that game in a five three two shape, whereas against Fulham we adapted so as to be a bit more attacking. We had to get the points against Fulham and that tactical change paid off. I thought the boys were brilliant on Saturday.
“The Gaffer wants us to play with no fear and show everybody the ability we have. He stresses that it’s a team effort and nobody is allowed to slack – we all have to work for each other. It’s about putting a shift in for the team.”