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RUSSELL: BUILD ON THIS DEFENSIVE BASE

27 February 2015

Manager calls on players to complement strong defence with goals

Following the huge boost of the midweek success at Wigan, Cardiff City manager Russell Slade challenged his players to use the victory as the catalyst for a positive run of results, with in-form Wolves heading to Wales on Saturday.

 

“We were looking for that one win, that elusive win, after some really solid performances,” Russell said. “To finally get that was the reward that we deserved.

 


“We had to go back to making the side difficult to beat, and resolute at the back. We’ve worked on that; not just on the training ground but also visually. We’ve tried to show them what a good, sensible line is in order to get some sort of consistency in terms of performance. I think that’s rubbed off for a variety of reasons.


"That partnership between Sean Morrison and Bruno Ecuele Manga has grown, and the solidity that Lee Peltier has brought to the group has helped as well. He’s settling in well, and has made for a more consistent relationship in the back four. On top of that, you can’t leave out our captain, David Marshall, who has come back into the side and was excellent again on Tuesday evening.”

 

Without his two first-choice full-backs on Tuesday, the Bluebirds boss gave some fitness updates on Lee Peltier and Scott Malone, as well as the other City players currently on the sidelines.

 

“Lee will train today, but Scott will still be out this weekend,” he said. “We’re probably looking at another eight to ten days with him, but Lee has an outside chance. Full back isn’t Joe Ralls’ true position, so for him to have done so well there, we were really pleased with him. He has a great attitude.

 


“Ben Turner is making good progress – he had a scan last week and it had good signs. He’s on course, it’s still that eleven or twelve weeks, but he’s doing well. Fábio is still not for away; he’s out doing light training, so again maybe Saturday is a bit too soon. I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t available for Tuesday.


"Kagisho Dikgacoi is still three or four weeks away from coming into the main group. Anthony Pilkington is starting to do warm-ups, and Joe Mason is on light training now as well. As soon as the medical team pass him on to us, so as soon as they do that we’ll decide whether he’s fit to play. We’re thinking two to three weeks.”


Andspeaking of the weekend’s opposition, Russell continued: "They know what they’re doing and they know what their manager wants, and they’re delivering that at a frightening rate at the moment, especially on the counter-attack with the pace and power they’ve got up front. They’re a very good side. Kenny Jackett has got them moving forward again, and I think he’s done a terrific job.

 



Watch Russell's pre-Wolves media conference via the Official Cardiff City YouTube Channel below:

“I’m a forward-thinking person, just looking at the next game and seeing where we can get our points from. For me it’s all been about finding that one per cent to improve each and every game. That’s what I’ve been searching for, because when you find that you start making some collective progress. You have to go from a sound defensive basis to deliver that, and that’s what we’ve achieved over the last few games.”

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