Russell Slade spoke to the press and media after his Cardiff City side, back in their traditional blue colours, defeated Fulham at Cardiff City Stadium.
A thunderous atmosphere in the capital set the scene for the Bluebirds’ solid 1-0 win, and Russell was every bit as pleased with the role played by the City faithful as he was by his troops’ performance.
“It was an enormous result for us,” said the Bluebirds boss. “It was a big day for the football club too, so it was just about not letting the occasion get to the players.
“However, I felt whether we scored the first goal today or not, the fans would stay behind us anyway. That’s a huge, huge difference when you’ve got the twelfth man out there to keep you going.
“It was a fantastic atmosphere, and they were magnificent from the first minute to the last minute. There seemed to be respect going both ways too – both for the work-rate of the players, and for the way in which the fans were right behind us.
“I’ll tell you what epitomised it – Tom Adeyemi ran forty or fifty yards in the last couple of minutes to put in a sliding tackle that he had no right to get to, and stopped Fulham’s attack. That’s what the fans can add.”
Scott Malone, Alex Revell and Simon Moore – standing in for the injured David Marshall – all made their league débuts in City’s win. Russell went on to say how impressed he was with the accomplished performances of all three, continuing: “Marshy pulled out of training on Friday with an ankle problem which reoccurred after a similar problem a week or two ago. He couldn’t kick a ball, but we’re hopeful that he’ll be back in training later next week. That’s why we made the decision to give Simon his début, along with Scott.
“We’ve had to make changes, as Kenwyne picked up an injury too, but the players have come in, performed and done a good job for us.
“Simon has worked incredibly hard in training and has made sure that he’s ready to step in whenever needed. All the boys are patting him on the back now because they know what a good character he is.
“I was pleased with the contribution of the two new boys today too, and if we can add to the group with more of the right types to push us in the right direction, then I think the future is bright.”
The three points earned today could prove to be vital come the end of the season as City now look up towards the play-off places. As far as Russell’s concerned, more of the same is the order in South Wales as he looks ahead to some tough tests lying in wait.
“We need a period of stability now,” he added. “If we can now settle down together and gain some momentum as a football club then it can only be good, and will only lead us in one direction.
“As I’ve always said, moving forward as a unit with the players, fans and staff pulling in the same direction gives you a greater chance of being successful, of that there is no doubt.
“It’s a giant step forward for the Football Club. Today meant so much for everybody, and it’s given us a platform and something to build on going forward.“I just see the future being bright if we can all simply focus on going forward now, and getting better together.”