Cardiff City defender Matthew Connolly joined Russell Slade at The Vale Resort to look ahead to Saturday afternoon’s encounter with league leaders Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Bluebirds’ manager was first up, and set his sights on using the match against the unbeaten Seagulls as a measure of his squad’s successes.
“Every week is a yard stick for our progress as we’re playing new opposition in the first half of the season,” began Slade. “However, Brighton are the ones that have set the standard in the Championship so far this season.
“Chris [Hughton] has done a great job in organising them and sorting them out. They’re looking a different proposition from the side that struggled in the bottom half of the table last season.
“We’ll go there and we’ll do our best to get a really positive result. It’s a game that you have to embrace. It will be a tough challenge, but all of the players are together, can trust the man next to them, and are willing to put their bodies on the line for each other.
“The focus is always fully on the team. We‘re looking forward, attempting to progress and I think we’ve done that well. I’m always looking for improvement though. As a group we can get better still.”
“It’s a challenge as they’ve started very well, but everyone is fighting for points in this division so it’s always a difficult game no matter who you play,” said the centre-half.
“They’re unbeaten for a reason though, as they are obviously a good side, but that run will come to an end at some point. We’re focussed on the game. We had a good win against Charlton last weekend and we want to build on that.
“We’ve really turned it round this year. We’re playing good football and we’ve dominated games, deserving to win even in the couple of matches that we have lost. We’ve got a really good squad and we’re full of confidence.
“Our team spirit is very similar to the times that I’ve been promoted from the Championship. The boys all get on, we all work hard and we all push each other. You need good spirit to get out of this division – we’ve definitely got that and we’ve got quality players as well.”