Cardiff City manager Russell Slade spoke to the media and press after a dream start to his reign at Cardiff City Stadium. The Bluebirds saw off previously unbeaten Nottingham Forest with a 2-1 win that delighted the new boss, who said: “The result was massive. It was important that we showed the qualities that I’ve talked about, togetherness, character and the desire to see it through. We knew that Forest were going to keep coming at us because they’re unbeaten for a reason and are tough to get on top of.
“But overall, I’m delighted with the attitude of the team and with the first half performance. I thought we looked a threat going forward and created a few opportunities, but I was happy with the structure of the team too as we looked nice and compact without the ball.
“There were one or two enforced changes before and during the game, but we hung on in there which was the most important thing. It was a scary last four minutes, but it’s a great result for the football club.”
This was certainly an accomplished performance from City, particularly in the first half, as they attacked the Forest back line with energy and enthusiasm. Slade was most impressed, however, with his troops’ solidity as a defensive unit.
“It’s hard to point praise at anybody, but Bruno [Ecuele Manga] in particular only got back from international duty at tea time yesterday,” said Russell. “So to come and turn out and put that performance in today deserves great credit.
“It was always going to be a good test of character and it was going to hurt too. I told them they’d have to dig in and find a way to win the game, so we had to manage it sufficiently in the second half and we did. You’re always disappointed to concede a goal but the crucial thing was to get the three points.
“Several players had to play out of position at times, but when you build up togetherness, people will go beyond the call of duty – and that’s what I want to see when we’re up against it. That’s why the result today is so pleasing.”
Of course, the Championship offers no time to rest on your achievements, and Ipswich Town are next to make the trip to South Wales later this week. Slade appealed for another raucous CCS atmosphere to take us over the line on Tuesday night.
“It was a very pleasant welcome from the fans,” he added. “I thought they stayed behind the team for the entire game and, even in the final minutes, they appreciated the effort that they had put in.
“Going on from now, we still want to play with that high energy in the second period and put the opposition under pressure so we don’t have to get too deep with our defensive and midfield lines.
“We want to turn the ball over higher up the pitch and play with that enthusiasm throughout the game, rather than just in the first sixty or seventy minutes.
“We know they’ve got ability, but we’re starting to put an ethos together of what the club stands for and what we’re all about as a group.
“We want a never give up attitude, to never say die, as these are the qualities that bring success to clubs. If you want to be successful at anything you have to give everything, and that’s what we did today.”