New Manager gives first Media Conference at the Vale
New Cardiff City manager Russell Slade spoke to the press for the first time this morning following his official appointment on Monday.
The former Leyton Orient Manager took his first training session this week, building towards his first game in charge against Nottingham Forest on October 18th.
And new Bluebirds boss began by stating his intentions for re-energising the City squad, saying: “My aim is to get us as high up the league as we can, and to get into that top six if at all possible.
“We’ve left ourselves with a little bit of a battle at this moment in time, given the position that we’re in, but there are still 35 games to go, which means we still have a realistic opportunity of getting in the shake-up. The top two remains the ultimate aim.
“Eight points [the number of points City have to make up on the current top-two] we can make up. It’s not the sort of distance you want between the top of the league and yourselves, but all things are possible, there’s no doubt about that. What the group need right now is a little bit of momentum to build confidence, to put bricks in place and to try to build from a solid foundation.is a gap
“Tan Sri Vincent Tan has put a lot of money into this Football Club, and going forward we’re going to have to roll our sleeves up and work hard. He wants that work ethic, he wants that endeavour on the pitch and we’re going to work hard to provide that.
“I think communication is a very important part of a manager’s job, and that communication between a manager and the hierarchy is vitally important. I will emphasise that.
“When this opportunity came along, I thought it was an excellent one – we are a club with a huge potential going forward, and I feel as if I have done the miles.
“It was only two years ago that I had an opportunity to go to another Championship club, but Barry Hearn [former Leyton Orient Chairman] wouldn’t let me go at that time. I had four great years at Orient of course, but I lost that opportunity two years ago; I wasn’t going to lose this one.”
Russell is known for coaching positive, attack-minded sides, with his efforts for Leyton Orient last season earning him the accolade of League One Manager of the Year.
On Monday, he described how he planned on continuing that ethos, letting Cardiff City supporters know that they can expect to see some attacking football at Cardiff City Stadium starting with the visit of Nottingham Forest a week Saturday.
“The ethos has to be one of a great work ethic and desire,” Russell said. “The team needs to show togetherness, so we’re all pulling in the right direction, and that’s a big thing for me. Those values, to take onto the pitch, are massively important.
“I like playing attacking football; I like going forward. I like predominantly to play with two strikers up front – at Leyton Orient we played a version of 4-4-2 with a bit of flexibility, maybe switching to a 4-4-1-1 or a lop-sided 4-4-2. I think we were the second-highest goalscorers in the league last season, so clearly I like to get the ball in the box and create opportunities.
The backroom structure will come together in the coming days – it’s something we need to look at because a few members of staff departed under the last regime. Talks will be ongoing – I have another conversation with Tan Sri this evening to go through the structure in a little bit more detail. It is a big squad too, arguably too big, and that’s something we’ll look at.
"There is a talented group here, of course, but there’ll be the right type of player in terms of going forward that we might try to bring in as well.
“My view of Cardiff City is that it’s a club that has made great strides in recent years, in terms of the structure, the stadium and the playing staff. We were getting gates of around 27,000 people in the Premier League, and even when it’s not started too well in the Championship, the Club has still attracted around 20,000 supporters. There is a great demand and a real passion for football in this city, and a real place for it to go forward.
“Of course, we have to be careful and make sure we don’t change too much, too quickly. Rome wasn’t built in a night, and again I think communicating with the players is very important.
"I like to think that away from match days I’m a nice guy, but as my old man used to tell me, 'sometimes you’ve got to spit'. Sometimes I'll tell players what they don't want to hear, but that's part and parcel of the job."
WATCH RUSSELL'S FULL MEDIA CONFERENCE BELOW: