Are Swansea the main threat to Cardiff playoff hopes?


Tim wore this shirt at a Wales supporters charity game against Syrian refugees in Swansea.

Our guest writer on Cardiff City is journalist, broadcaster and author, Tim Hartley.

A Welsh speaker, Tim is a former vice chair of Supporters Direct and the Cardiff City Supporters Trust and is a director of the Wales Football Trust.

He is the author of Kicking off in North Korea – football and friendship in foreign lands (Y Lolfa, 2016) and Merci Cymru ed. Hartley (Y Lolfa, 2016)

As well as authoring the book, Tim has contributed to the Guardian, When Saturday Comes, Late Tackle and various other newspapers and websites.

In this article, he looks at the Bluebirds’ resurgence since football restarted after lockdown.

A run of five games in 15 days, starting at home to Blackburn on July 7, will determine whether they make the playoffs. Perhaps the key game is their Bastille Day encounter with Derby County, who they lead by three points going into Tuesday’s match with Rovers.

But as Derby have the top three left to play, it may be South Wales rivals Swansea who are their main threat for that last playoff slot. The Swans have three games against sides with little to play for in their last five fixtures.

But as Hartley points out, Cardiff’s recent form suggests they are a decent shout to be in the promotion mix after the 46 games are played out.

Cardiff fans celebrate promotion in 2018

Bluebirds emerge from lockdown soaring and scoring

by Tim Hartley

Since football restarted Cardiff have looked like a different team winning three and drawing one of their four matches.

They have pushed themselves into the play off positions and although it is unlikely,  if other results go their way could even take the second automatic promotion spot.

Cardiff’s strength lies in their organisation under manager Neil Harris. They have shown they can keep possession and with a strong back four ably led by their captain Sean Morrison they can also hold off pressure from the opposition.

There is a potential weakness that with on loan Dion Sanderson as their only real right back any injury to him could prove disastrous.

The Bluebirds have been scoring goals this year.

Cardiff City remaining fixtures

Tuesday 7th July

Cardiff City v Blackburn Rovers

Friday 10th July

Fulham v Cardiff City

Tuesday 14th July

Cardiff City v Derby County

Saturday 18th July

Middlesbrough v Cardiff City

Wednesday 22nd July

Cardiff City v Hull City

Joe Ralls and Lee Tomlin are both on seven goals and Danny Ward and Robert Glatzel have provided six each. It’s good to see players score from different positions but they don’t have a single proven goalscorer and that raises a question as to who should start up front and whether they could really compete if they did get to the Premiership.

Sol Bamba came on as a substitute very briefly against Bristol City which shows he he must now be fully recovered from his injury. Though last weekend’s game was a rather turgid affair this team has its moments and the Cardiff City faithful will be happy to have seen some more attacking and positive football rather than the solid, negative and frankly boring approach that typified Neil Warnock’s managerial style last season.

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