The Bluebirds entertain Brighton and Hove Albion at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday in a crucial Sky Bet Championship encounter. Ahead of the game, Cardiff boss Neil Warnock addressed the media at the Vale Resort, sharing his thoughts about the club’s current situation.
“I saw light at the end of the tunnel last week against Villa", began Neil. “I’m not saying I haven’t seen it before as we’ve had some good performances during my time here. But I do feel that last week showed me at, a top club, that, with one or two additions, we can be a threat in the second half of the season.
“It’s a long 46 games and we have to look at the long term picture and I’m quietly confident at the minute of having a good run after Christmas. I knew when I first came here that it was going to be a relegation battle, people were talking about playoffs and things like that but it is a big job here at Cardiff and a big project.
“You still don’t like to be in the bottom three, psychologically you don’t want to be there, but when I look at teams in the bottom half of the table, then I think if we can be constructive in what we bring in, come January, then I think we’ll be able to enjoy ourselves a lot more.”
Looking towards the next few weeks, the manager was keen to state that the Bluebirds will soon be boosted by the return to fitness of key personnel.
“We’re a bit short at the minute”, stressed Neil. “After tomorrow’s game we’ll be a lot healthier as Jazz Richards is training again. He’s had one thing after another in terms of injuries since I arrived but he is on his way back now.
“Hopefully next week we’ll have Lee Peltier available and probably Jazz as well. This will help us really as we’re a bit thin on the ground on the defensive side. Matt Connolly’s fit again as well, he played well away to Forest but tomorrow will be a tougher test.
“I think they’re [Brighton] the best team in the league really. I think Newcastle have got the biggest squad, but I think Brighton overall have the best team. It’ll be a great test for us tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it.”
The Seagulls arrive in South Wales occupying second place in the table and Neil commented on how he wants the Bluebirds to emulate their visitors.
“It’s a massive club, Cardiff, even I didn’t realise how big it is and it’s a great club”, the manager continued. “This club is waiting like a Brighton really. I’d like to think that the club, in the next twelve months, could be looking to do what Brighton have done. When Chris came in, they streamlined the squad and then they brought players in as and when they could get better players and that’s what I want to do here.
“I don’t think there is much panic around the club currently and I don’t think there’s panic with the fans either. I think the fans are with me and what I try to do is tell the fans what I’m thinking and then it’s up to them.
“If they see what I’m going to do in January and the changes I’m going to make before Christmas then I think they’ll get behind us. We’ve got to become a club on the up and that’s what we’ve got to work for in the next few months. It’s all together really and the fans have a major part to play as well.”