RUSSELL: IMPROVEMENT & BELIEF
Manager praises Bluebirds for positive midweek showing
City Boss Russell Slade praised his side’s improved performance against Blackburn, being of the belief that they were worthy of all three points rather than just the one.
Sean Morrison’s fifth goal of the campaign came in the 84th minute, though former Bluebird Rudy Gestede made it 1-1 with seconds left on the clock.
But nonetheless it was a spirited and creative Bluebirds performance – appreciated by those in attendance at Cardiff City Stadium
“There was certainly improvement in the team performance collectively tonight,” said the Gaffer in his post-match media conference.
“I thought we had good periods of control, and certainly from the right-hand side, we got some good balls into the box. When we got that goal in the 84th minute, we thought that might be enough on the basis of our performance. The only time we’ve not defended as well as we thought we should have done was when they scored, because he’s [Gestede] gone past two or three players. We’ve also had the opportunity to clear the ball and then not done it, so that’s the disappointing thing tonight, but there were lots of positives.
“You’re always looking for some form of improvement, and we went with the two strikers to create a tempo from the first minute tonight. What was pleasing was that we did that for the majority of the game, rather than for just 45 or 60 minutes as has happened in recent games.
“There might have been a little lull after 35 minutes in the first period, and obviously the frustration of conceding a goal late on, but other than that I thought there were long periods of control.”
Deadline-day signing Matty Kennedy put in a man-of-the-match performance on his Cardiff City – and Sky Bet Championship – debut. It was a personal display that Russell was keen to acknowledge.
“Conor McAleny failed a fitness test with the medical team at lunchtime, so he wasn’t available tonight,” Russell reflected. So I sprung it on Matty late on, and I thought he was excellent.
“For somebody so young, he looked after the ball so well on his debut in the Championship. He showed some real quality in terms of getting the ball into the box; for example there was a great cross from him for Kenwyne in the second period.
“I think it was useful that Matty started on the right flank with Lee Peltier, who will talk and who will help him if he makes mistakes, whereas on the other side we could get Scotty Malone forward a bit and combine with Craig Noone to try and get balls into the box. Those combinations worked.
“We tried to learn our lessons from the last performance, and tried to make sure that we made an improvement this week. Tonight, against a team that came here with confidence having beaten Stoke in the FA Cup on Saturday, I thought we put in a decent enough performance and deserved to win the game.
“I felt we could have nicked the Brighton game last week, but tonight we thoroughly deserved the three points. I just think we’re making progress; we are in a transition, and I know that I keep beating that drum, but that’s absolutely where we are at the moment.
Watch Russell's post-match media conference via the Official Cardiff City YouTube Channel below:
“If we continue that way, because there was great desire shown by my players tonight, we’ll get the results we’re looking for.”