Fresh from scoring Cardiff City’s final goal in South Wales of the 2012-13 season in spectacular fashion, Craig Noone sat down to offer his thoughts on the season, the final fixture at Hull City, and his hopes for the challenge of the Premier League next term.
First on the agenda was Saturday’s televised trip to KC Stadium for the season finale.
“It’s a massive game for [Hull], but we still want to win,” Noone said. "Nobody likes losing. We were on the brink for a while but I think it’s ten times worse for them now that it’s come down to the last game of the season.
“We’ve always wanted to go up as Champions, and I don’t think much has changed in terms of our desire. We’re still going into every game with the same mentality, that we’re looking for the win.
"We’ve done really well in our away games recently, and when people got on our backs for the away form at the start of the season, it was nice to have our home form to lie back on, because we were on fire.
“We’re all professionals and we’re just doing our job. None of us like losing so we always look to go out there and play our normal game. People may say that we’ve got nothing to play for, but you’ve got to go out there every game and do your best, no matter what the situation is.”
Next Craig was asked about how he felt the season had gone on an individual basis for himself, to which he replied: “It’s a team game and you don’t go up as individuals, you go up a team. I’ve played my bit, and I’m still playing to impress the Gaffer for next season. You don’t want to give a bad impression, and I’m just trying to be professional and give my best at every opportunity I get.
“We’ll have a nice break for the summer, and then we’ll come back for pre-season, where I’ll be working hard to get into Malky’s thoughts. I was delighted to sign off at home with a goal. I told Craig Bellamy that I fancied it, and he said he fancied me to take it too, but I was delighted to get it.”
Success is not an unfamiliar entity for Cardiff’s Kirkby-born winger, as just two seasons ago he lifted another League trophy, as Brighton romped to the League One title. His previous club have a chance of more success this season, and Craig insisted that he would love to see that happen, saying: “When I was at Brighton we had a bus parade around the City when we won League One, and that was amazing. I can’t wait for the next one on Sunday. My medal is still in my house now, but it’s going to go in a frame.
“I want Brighton to go up [via the Play-Offs]. I’ve spoken to a couple of their lads, who’ve all congratulated me, and I’ve wished them luck. They’re in good form, and regardless of whether Watford or Hull are in the Play-Offs, it’s going to be tough for them, but I’ll be supporting them.”
Craig was asked if this season had been his most enjoyable as a player, given what Cardiff City have achieved this term: “Yes,” he revealed, “without a doubt. I’ve played thirty-odd games this season and I’m delighted with that. Everything has gone well here for me, to go up as Champions and play consistently is fantastic. This is definitely a club I want to be a part of next season.
“No, he hasn’t said anything about that. We’ve got a job to do, and we can go out there with freedom to do our jobs. I don’t think people can go into a game without any motivation because you get a buzz from going out onto the pitch in front of twenty to thirty thousand people every week. If that doesn’t motivate a player, I don’t know what will.”
And finally, Craig was asked about what matches he would be most looking forward to next season, with the fixture lists being released in the not-too-distant future. “I’ve played against Liverpool a few times with Brighton, but obviously the Swansea game will be massive,” he said.
“That’ll be the first game I look for. Obviously there are the Manchester United and Chelsea matches, but I think the Swansea matches are more important for our fans, so I’ll be excited to see when they are.”