Reaction | Nelson post-Preston

Curtis Nelson spoke of a solid start to the festive period following Saturday’s 0-0 draw with high-flying Preston North End.

The Lilywhites came to Cardiff City Stadium looking to further enhance their grip on third place in the division, though found a stubborn Bluebirds defence too hard to break down in the lunchtime kick-off.

And speaking to the press and media throng post-match, centre-half Curtis said that the defensive performance highlighted the progression that the team is making under Neil Harris as we approach the season’s half-way point.

“We took a point and a clean sheet from it out there today, so I think we have to consider that as a good start to the festive period,” Curtis reflected. “We knew Preston were going to be a test for us, being third in the table coming into the game, but I think we acquitted ourselves well to earn a point.

“We’re not far away at all from being a team that will push up the table. We’re chasing the coat-tails of those in the Play-Off places and if we stay in this pack then we’ll put ourselves in a good position to push towards the end of the season.”

Curtis Nelson arrives at Cardiff City Stadium

Having featured in all seven fixtures since Neil Harris’ appointment in mid-November, the centre-half has taken the plaudits following his step-up from lower level football to look an assured presence in the number 16 shirt.

And one thing was made abundantly clear on Saturday afternoon: that being that the 26-year-old is fully committed to his duties both on and off the field.

“Whether I play in the previous game or not, I’ll always give 100% when I play for the team whatever happens,” he stated. “There’s been a fight for places since the start of the season and there’s four of us fighting for two spots now which is a good thing.

“The manager has been brilliant with me, knows what he wants from the team and how he wants us to play. It’s up to us to adapt to that.”

Jazz Richards
Jazz Richards on his return to the Bluebirds' side against the Lilywhites

And in closing, having been asked about the performance of Jazz Richards who made his first City start in nearly two years on Saturday, the defender was effusive in his praise for a returning team-mate.

“It’s brilliant to have him back,” said Curtis. “Jazz has had a few setbacks with injuries, and I think he deserves so much credit to have played 90 minutes today which is not easy at all having been out for so long.

“He’s done so well today and I’m really happy for him. He’s a great player who’s played at the top level and I know he’ll always affect the team in a positive way when he plays.”

Full highlights & reaction to follow on Cardiff City TV.