LEON: CITY'S QUIET CONFIDENCE
Leon Barnett took time out to speak to press ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Watford at Vicarage Road, a top-of-the-table clash in which he looks set to make his fourth appearance for the club.
Ahead of the televised clash, the opening press-pack questions were of Cardiff City’s latest promotion prospects, but Leon was only keen to see the squad build on the performance against Blackburn, trying to claim maximum points for the travelling fans on Saturday night.
“I’m very confident we can get a result,” he said. “The team is doing well and I think there is a quiet confidence throughout the team. We’re concentrating on trying to win as many of the games as we can. When it comes to game time you have to put promotion to the back of your head and just get the job done. I don’t think Cardiff have gone into any game this season looking for a draw and know that three points would help us massively.”
Stevenage-born Barnett also spoke of the privilege of playing alongside the likes of Craig Bellamy since becoming a Bluebird recently, along with his admiration of club captain Mark Hudson and the Cardiff city defence.
“It was a challenge to go straight into the team for my first game here at Sheffield Wednesday as I hadn’t been getting many games for Norwich,” he said. “I’d kept fit in the gym in the meantime, so I felt that I fit in quite comfortable fitness-wise.
“Craig Bellamy is a massive influence and is a great player. Obviously we missed him against Peterborough and you could see the difference when he came back into the team against Blackburn. Mark Hudson has done very well and I appreciate him giving me the confidence that I need. I think as a whole the defenders have done well. I can only comment on the games that I’ve been involved in, and we’ve kept two clean sheets out of three. I think that any manager in the world would take that. The goalie (David Marshall) plays a big part in that as well.”
With Hudson currently missing with injury, Barnett was asked what his situation would be once his one-month loan spell in South Wales comes to an end.
“As far as I’m aware I’ve come here for the twenty-eight days,” he said. “I’ve got two weeks left and I’m just looking forward to playing the games that I have left and we’ll see what happens after that. I would like to stay, I think it would be stupid not to stay with the club in a great position and doing well and there’s a lot of talent in the team that I want to be playing with.”
Having tasted promotion from the Championship twice before, winning the division with West Bromwich Albion in 2008 and coming second with parent club Norwich City in 2011, Leon knows what it takes and can see some parallels in the way Cardiff have played this season to his previous promotion pushing campaigns. But again, with April’s fixture congestion and points to play for, the only thing on his mind was Watford on Saturday.
“I think this is similar,” he said. “Both times the attitude was to just concentrate on winning the games and the manager here is doing exactly the same.
“For the game tomorrow the whole squad is up for it. We saw their result on Tuesday night (as Watford won away at second-placed Hull City) and now everybody is looking forward to the game. These are the games you want to play in – it’s going to be one of the biggest games of the season. We just want to get the job done the right way. I don’t necessarily think that three points will clinch promotion because there are still a lot of games left to play.”