We look at City's October of 2014-15Following on from our opening preview of the 2014-15 Sky Bet Championship season and City's September and August schedule, Oliver Roderick takes a look at what September has to offer for the Bluebirds.
Blackpool (A) - Saturday, 4th October - Kick-off 3pm
2013-14 Sky Bet Championship: 20th
Top scorer: Tom Ince (7)
Manager: José Riga
Stadium: Bloomfield Road (Capacity: 17,338)
Cardiff City’s first match in October will be a trip to the seaside to play Blackpool. The Tangerines have appointed former Charlton manager José Riga as their new manager, having parted company with Paul Ince midway through last season. Barry Ferguson had been in caretaker charge in the interim.
It looks likely that Tom Ince, who top-scored for Blackpool last season despite spending half of it on loan in the Premier League with Crystal Palace, will depart Bloomfield Road this summer. He was linked with Inter Milan last month. Nonetheless, last season’s finish of 20th was below what Blackpool fans have become accustomed to, and Riga will be a popular man if he can turn the side into challengers again.
Last meeting: Blackpool 1-2 Cardiff City (Championship - January 19th 2013)
A stunning goal from Tommy Smith earned three points for the Bluebirds at Bloomfield Road, with City establishing a ten-point lead at the top of the Championship. Kim Bo-Kyung’s second goal for Cardiff was cancelled out by Gary Taylor-Fletcher’s header, but Smith struck to win it.
Nottingham Forest (H) - Saturday, 18th October - Kick-off 7.45pm
2013-14 Sky Bet Championship: 11th
Top scorer: Andy Reid (9)
Manager: Stuart Pearce
Stadium: City Ground (Capacity: 30,615)
Despite losing just four of their opening thirty-one matches, Nottingham Forest parted company with manager Billy Davies in the midst of a winless run that lasted from mid-February to April and curtailed their Play-Off chances.
Former England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce is the new man in charge, and the Reds have a new goalscorer in their ranks now that Matty Fryatt has joined from Hull City. Always there or thereabouts, Forest will be hoping 2014/15 is the season they finally return to the Premier League.
Last meeting: Cardiff City 3-0 Nottingham Forest (Championship – April 13th 2013)
Heidar Helguson’s header and a Rudy Gestede brace put Cardiff City within a solitary point of securing promotion to the Premier League.
Ipswich Town (H) - Tuesday, 21st October - Kick-off 7.45pm
2013-14 Sky Bet Championship: 9th
Top scorer: David McGoldrick (14)
Manager: Mick McCarthy
Stadium: Portman Road (Capacity: 30,311)
Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town finished just short of the Play-Off places last term, and has prepared for the new campaign by adding former Reading, Hull and Wolves player Stephen Hunt, who was at the club on a short-term basis last season. Alex Henshall has arrived on a free transfer from Hull City, as has Cameron Stewart, who joins from Hull.
The Tractor Boys have been progressing steadily over the last few seasons, finishing fifteenth in 2012, fourteenth in 2013 and ninth last year.
Last meeting: Cardiff City 0-0 Ipswich Town (Championship - January 12th 2013)
The Bluebirds and the Tractor Boys played out a goalless draw in some difficult weather conditions at Cardiff City Stadium.
Millwall (A) - Saturday, 25th October - Kick-off 3pm
2013-14 Sky Bet Championship: 19th
Top scorer: Steve Morison (8)
Manager: Ian Holloway
Stadium: The Den (Capacity: 20,146)
Last season was largely a disappointment for Millwall. The Lions parted way with manager Steve Lomas in December, with the former West Ham player having won just five of his twenty-two games in charge. Ian Holloway was brought in to replace him and eventually turned Millwall into the side that went undefeated over the last seven games of the season, ensuring they retained their Championship status.
Now, Holloway will be looking to lead a team to the top tier for the third time, having done so with Queens Park Rangers in 2004, Blackpool in 2010 and Crystal Palace in 2013.
Last meeting: Cardiff City 1-0 Millwall (Championship - December 29th 2013)
Cardiff City maintained their five-point lead at the top of the Championship thanks to a 1-0 victory over Millwall at Cardiff City Stadium. The goal came through Rudy Gestede, who was making his first start of the season, as he finished from a right-sided Craig Noone cross.