David Marshall spoke of the disappointment within the squad following the frustrating loss to near rivals Swansea at the Liberty Stadium, but reiterated the belief, character and determination from all at the club to respond in the best way possible on Tuesday night at home to Aston Villa.
Reflecting on the Swansea loss, he said, “It’s a disappointing result for us, though we’re determined to bounce back. In the first half they started well in the opening ten minutes, which you’d expect from the home side. But we quickly got a grip of the game and created some chances of our own, going in to the break on level terms, which was about right.
“The start of the second half, in particular the timing of their first goal was really frustrating for us, straight after the restart. Again, we responded well to going a goal behind at a difficult place to play, pushing forward and coming close.
“We were playing well and Craig nearly made it one each, catching the crossbar with a good shot. But with just over ten minutes to go they made it two, which made it that much more difficult, even before their third goal as we chased the game.
“The win gives them the bragging rights this time, just as was the case for us earlier in the season when we won the game at home. That aside we would have preferred to take the points on offer, to put pressure on those around us and to give our fans a night to enjoy.”
City’s remaining February Premier League fixtures are at home against Aston Villa and Hull City, along with the FA Cup Cardiff City Stadium tie against Wigan next Saturday – and the Bluebirds shot-stopper says that the squad is determined to make home advantage count for the supporters following the frustrating weekend trip to the Liberty Stadium.
“Every point and every goal is vital at this stage of the season,” he said. “It’s so tight in the bottom half and it can all change so quickly, which could have been the case if Craig’s shot had gone in or we’d managed to finish one of our other opportunities. In this division it’s all about taking your chances and we’ll look to do just that on Tuesday night against Aston Villa.
“The next two Premier League home games are important. Last time out we managed to beat Norwich to claim three points, which is something we know we can build on. While we have some work to do to improve results on the road, home form and support is vital for us, and if we can take six points from the next two home games, it’ll help us climb the table, which is our aim. Aston Villa are next and like us have had a bad result over the weekend. They’ll be looking to respond themselves, but it’s a game we have to go out to try to win.
“There’s no masking the fact that we are where we are, especially after a tough January that took in away trips to three of the title challengers, which was always going to be hard for anyone. But the new boys have come in and done well, both in training and in recent games. Winning away games in the Premier League is always hard, but we’ve got two home games coming up of our own against Villa and Hull, which we’ll look to take as many points as possible from.
“Our supporters will play a big part, as they have done so well for us over recent years. We know that like us, they’re all massively disappointed after losing a game like this - and I’m sure they all know that we’ll work flat out to get the results and points we all want.
“Against Norwich we went a goal behind and needed them big time - and by sticking together we pulled it back to claim all three points. We know that of our remaining games for the rest of the season, none of them will be easy, including the next two at home. But with every point and goal of huge importance, it’s vital we work together to reach our goals.”